AI has become popular with ChatGPT and can also be used in graphics, real estate, research and meat

AI has become popular with ChatGPT and can also be used in graphics, real estate, research and meat

Recently, there was also the message that Snap — the company behind Snapchat — hasn’t given up on making glasses that use artificial intelligence.

Cut the meat properly

The Norwegian AI map is also being populated with more companies. And here it is not about creating more creative content, it is about finding solutions for industry and business.

Völur’s business idea is to use artificial intelligence to make production more efficient, profitable and sustainable for meat producers.

– Völur is Old Norse and means a woman who predicts the future, says managing director Robert Akrim.

– Not the easiest name we’ve seen or heard?

– We had to find a name initially, and our focus was on getting the business going, so we took an interesting name that we thought fit what we were doing. There are a lot of people who have a speech problem, and in the USA, children are totally unknown, but we stick with it for the time being.

The Hungry Gang: The three founders of Völur want to use artificial intelligence to make production more efficient in meat production. From left: David Moriano, Robert Akram, and Adrian Diaz. Photo: Fuller

Akram founded the company with two native Spaniards after studying finance in London. – But unlike my fellow students, who were going into banking, I wanted to get involved in industry.

The trip went to Norwegian meat producer Nortura, and there the idea of ​​being able to make business and production more efficient came up.

“Hundreds of products can come from a factory, and there are millions of variables that need to be linked together to make it as cheap as possible, meet demand and reduce waste in the value chain as much as possible,” says Akram.

The goal is to get the right animals to the right product at the right time.

Robert Acrim, Fuller

Animals that are slaughtered and hung for cooling can be suitable for different products. Simply put, fatty pork is better for sausages, while lean pork is better for cold cuts.

In production, animals must be cut in the correct order to get the best possible use of them, and they can be cut in hundreds of different ways. The goal is to get the right animals to the right product at the right time.

Ekrem & Co aggregates all of these variables into its tool, and Völur has already included JBS USA, one of the largest meat producers in the world, in its client list. – We are inside a factory that has such a high production volume that it covers the entire annual Norwegian consumption of meat products within 100 days.

– The goal now is to get to the next customers faster, so we can scale faster. That’s the plan, says Akram.

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With the European Union behind him

Völur is one of the players in the AI ​​market, while Nemonoor aims to be a national hub for AI — at least for some industries.

In the same way it works in the business world, Nemonoor is the result of an EU project.

The European Union has a research program called Horizon, with a budget of several billion euros. Erik Andreessen says that turning research findings into practical action is a challenge. He is the director of Nemonoor and also works for Digital Norway, one of the partners behind the centre.

Andreassen does not have an exact number, but he believes that the proportion of funds used for research in the European Union, which is used commercially, is much lower than in the USA and many Asian countries.

Nemonoor is primarily geared towards four specific industries where we believe AI can play a role.

Eric Andreessen, Nemonor

– Therefore, the European Union also came up with a program called Digital, where the point is precisely to help companies use the knowledge created in research programs. We are one of 130 so-called European Digital Innovation Centers (EDIH) dotted across Europe, which will bring out knowledge at a national level, helping companies forge relationships with new partners and like-minded companies, says Andreessen.

Oceanopolis is the second among such hubs in Norway.

– Nemonoor is primarily geared towards four specific industries where we believe AI can play a role. These four are health, energy, smart cities, and manufacturing/process industry.

The impressive field behind Nemonoor consists of Sintef, Institute of Energy Technology (IFE), NTNU, Nora.AI, Smart Innovation Norway, Norway Health Tech, lesund Knowledge Park and Digital Norway. The center will launch a suite of services during the spring, and is already actively working to reach out to companies that could benefit from the additional knowledge about AI.

Not to demolish buildings

Many Norwegian companies operate with artificial intelligence related to real estate and infrastructure.

Nornier provides services focused mainly on building automation and FDV, that is, management, operation and maintenance of buildings, says Marketing Director Johan Johansson. The company uses artificial intelligence to help companies automate repetitive tasks and workflows.

Nornir HIVE is the AI-driven platform now being introduced to the Norwegian FDV market.

The main focus of this tour is the Norwegian market, and Noreen is now, among other things, embarking on a major mission for the Oslo Municipality. – Here, the infrastructure of many central building blocks is automated, among other things linked to work orders, fire registers and ventilation systems. The solution would also give Oslo Municipality complete freedom to suppliers, resulting in significant public savings.

– Nornir will also create the world’s smartest churches, says Johansson. – As a result of the ongoing energy crisis, the Joint Church Council commissioned us to deliver the Nornir HIVE with temperature sensors, fans and thermostats to Norwegian churches. Here, artificial intelligence and deep learning will be able to ensure the optimal use of electricity, based on weather forecasts and electricity prices.

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The first step outside the country has also been taken. Nornier is one of a group of pre-qualified suppliers for the construction of the new Al Maktoum Airport in Dubai, which will be the largest and most advanced of its kind in the world, says Johansson.

Celebrity niche: Offices and commercial buildings are the market where many companies now want AI to contribute to more efficient operation and better maintenance. Photo: Ørn E. Borgen/NTB

Another company in the same niche is Again X. – Our goal is to no longer demolish buildings. Founder and General Manager Daniel Tabacaro says: Measures must be taken to extend the life of existing buildings.

– We want to help property owners understand the relationship between requirements, measures, costs and long-term, sustainable development. With our algorithms, you can predict the condition of real estate, and from our experience, you can talk about cost savings of up to ten percent on rehabilitation projects.

Now initially it will take a lot of time to go for smaller wallets.

Daniel Tabacaro, Genex

AI is very much about learning and scaling, and that means Once Again X stays out of the way for small landlords in the beginning. – Tabacaro says, we set a maximum of 100,000 square metres.

– Now at first, it’s going to take a very long time to go into smaller wallets. But eventually we will get automation and scale so that anyone can become a customer with us.

To date, the company has brought in nearly NOK eight million in concessional financing, including from Horizon Europe, i.e. without shareholders becoming owners, plus two paying pilot customers. But now Tabacaru is looking to raise between NOK eight and twelve million in a conventional share issue.

And again X looks beyond the borders of Norway. Norway is a good start, but the market here at home is too small to have the international impact we’re looking for. We need a European market and we already have staff working on the French and Dutch datasets. Tabacaro says many of the potential investors we’re talking to are also from Europe or the US.

1 billion users

The range is huge, and Semine is another Norwegian company that uses AI to automate incoming billing. – We are revolutionizing the financial function through artificial intelligence and machine learning, says Managing Director Bjorn Rusten.

The Semine platform is now used by 8,500 companies, and in 2021 the company was recognized by Gartner as a leading international player in intelligent automation.

Semine is constantly learning from the input accountants give to the platform, says Røsten. – This is the basis of automation. Simply explained, it can be said that it is about the transfer of efficiency from the accountant to the Semine, and where the platform captures the logic associated with record keeping. It learns and gets better and better with each invoice processed, which in turn contributes to the fact that the accounting function will become a larger and more important strategic part of the business.

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In AI, a lot is about scaling – and that costs money. One of the companies that has at least a good hope of securing long-term funding for the solution is Iris.ai.

Now in January, Iris has secured NOK 25 million from the EU, plus the EIB will contribute up to NOK 120 million in the next issue through a fund. – They take half as many, says Anita Schgul Abeldegaard.

EU favourite: Anita Šgöl Abeldegaard, Managing Director of Iris.ai, has so far spent NOK 60 million developing an AI solution that extracts data from thousands of research articles. Now the company can receive approximately NOK 150 million from the European Union in subsidies and equity. Photo: Anders Horntvedt

She is the Managing Director of a company that has so far spent NOK 60 million developing a solution that deals with scientific research. And there the starting point was studies at Singularity University, an institution that works closely on artificial intelligence.

The best way to earn a billion is to help a billion people.

Anita Schgul Abildgaard, Iris.ai

– There we were encouraged to build companies that would affect a billion people over ten years, and this is what we are working on now. The best way to earn a billion is to help a billion people.

Every day, 6,000 new research articles are published globally, which is an absolutely impossible task for humans to accomplish. Iris has the tools that can scan tens of thousands of articles and extract the information customers are looking for.

– They can enter a few thousand articles and get an Excel sheet or we can put it directly into a database with all the structured information that customers are looking for.

However, the market for Iris is not researchers and universities, but rather research-intensive companies. Materiom is one of Iris’ clients that works with, among other things, plastics made from seaweed or other recyclable materials. – Here we are talking about 50,000 articles that we can use to build a database, while Materiom has a number of researchers who can take advantage of these and find good ones that they can use.

When will you cross the billion mark?

– It is due in 2027 or 2028, but after that, of course, everything will have to fall into place, says Abeldegaard.

Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

"Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst."

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