The Norwegian business sector should use the Norwegian-American community as a gateway into the U.S. We are the most similar to you, says Bruce Gjovig, who has just signed a deal with SINTEF to help them enter the American market.
Bruce Gjovig is head of the Center for Innovation Foundation at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. This spring he was in Norway as part of the North Dakota governor's delegation, and each year him or one of his workers come to Norway at least once.
SINTEF and the Center for Innovation in Grand Forks have had a lot of time to get to know each other before they signed the two-year agreement that Gjovig feels very confident about.
"The biggest difference between running a business in Norway and in the U.S. is that here you employ one person to get things done. In Norway things are driven more by consensus. Here in North Dakota we do a little bit of both. It is easier to for Norwegian companies to reach the U.S. market through us, he tells Aftenposten.
According to Gjovig, Norway and North Dakota are similar in the sense that they are both states with a small population far away from the market. But both places know how to develop technology, he remarks.
Statoil's investments in the Bakken formation has made Gjovig's cooperation with Norwegian businesses much easier. However, he also sees other opportunities for a more extensive cooperation between the U.S. and Norway beyong the oil and gas industry, and even outside of the midwest.