My Digital City kicked off:

“It’s gratifying to see that so many people participated!”

On Friday morning, the partners in My Digital City launched the new initiative during a digital kickoff with almost 200 participants – and great engagement from the audience.

By Mari Kristine Buckholm, 16 April 2021

My Digital City is a joint initiative between the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE), Smart Innovation Norway, Østfold University College, Halden Municipality, eSmart Systems and Halden Næringsutvikling.

The program aims to solve challenges such as achieving the goal of a zero-emission society, helping the population adapt to climate change, safeguarding democracy, creating new jobs and safeguarding an ageing population – with digitalization of society as an important instrument.

“Today’s kickoff shows that there is great curiosity about the My Digital City initiative. It was gratifying to see that there were so many people participating, and fun that so many people outside Halden also participated. There were an incredible number of good questions that went right to the heart of what we have been aiming for. Now is the starting point for a program that addresses issues people care about,” says Ingeborg Laukvik (photo), Head of Halden Næringsutvikling.

Three strategic objectives

She was among the speakers who presented at the event, together with representatives from Smart Innovation Norway, IFE, Østfold University College, Halden Municipality, NHO, DigitalNorway, AirMont and Hypatia Learning.

Overall, the actors gave a thorough introduction to My Digital City and what the program should be, seen from the perspective of the municipality and its inhabitants, as well as from the business community, academia and the research communities.

“We have set three strategic goals. It is about creating new, good citizen services and involving the inhabitants of the projects, it is about developing the digital pillar that allows us to exploit the technology and it is about attracting business development to Halden, so that we can create more jobs, but also attract expertise and newcomers. We need to put in place a set of indicators that can measure whether we are on our way; if we achieve citizen involvement and if we can reduce the environmental footprint. We need to work strategically towards these goals,” explains Petter Kvalvik, program manager for My Digital City.

Inspiring commitment

The two most important keywords for all activities and projects to be carried out in the My Digital City portfolio are precisely citizen involvement and sustainability, and several interesting questions came in from the audience during the kickoff that were answered by the panel live.

“We discussed several key issues. What the participants ask forms the basis for innovation and research issues, related to, for example, sustainability and universal design to ensure that we succeed with including all inhabitants,” notes Kvalvik (photo).

In the future, several workshops will be held, where the partners in My Digital City aim to get to know both the residents and the companies in Halden better.

“Several people have already contacted us after the event and said that they want to participate in this. If more people are interested, we encourage you to get in touch,” concludes Laukvik.

Watch My Digital City’s introduction video:


Video : My Digital City