The Norwegian Media Cluster Celebrates Ten Years

Published 16.02.2020
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Huge congratulations to all the fantastic Media Cluster Members and friends on the ten year anniversary. From 2010 until today the cluster has created thousands of new jobs, groundbreaking innovations, international successes - and an awesome cluster family.

It has been an incredible journey from the early beginnings at Nøstet in Bergen, initiated by enthusiasm and ambitions, to the powerful and world-leading environment the Media Cluster represents today. 

(Anniversary video: For best quality click settings and select 1080p HD)

Early Years
The Media Cluster, under the name MediArena, was accepted into the governmental supported Innovation Norway cluster program in 2010. The program aims to promote innovation, commercialization and internationalization. Only a few Arena projects mature enough to be awarded the NCE status - Norwegian Centres of Expertise. The Media Cluster was one of them, and could proudly accept the NCE label in 2015. The entrepreneurial TV 2 culture, the University's work for research and cooperation and Vizrt's ideas for a large collaboration project, formed the foundation for a high performing environment, today a world leader in media technology. As did a lot of support from many key institutions in the city, amongst the the City of Bergen and Bergen Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

Chair of the Media Cluster board, Haavard Myklebust (Photo), is very pleased with the development over the years.

– Through TV 2's bold approach in the early years, the cluster quickly took on an international position, and in solidarity with the smaller startups, the global companies in the cluster brought them out to a global market. Now, NCE Media has taken over this responsibility, by setting up the Media City Bergen Village at IBC, with the same internationalization focus that TV 2 and Vizrt handled in the past. 

Myklebust praises the work and efforts of the large companies and institutions in the cluster.

– All the major companies and institutions have throughout the years delivered significant and important contributions, and as a result NCE Media today represents one of the most successful Industry Clusters in Norway.

Attracts investors
– The Media Cluster is very important to Bergen, said Marit Warncke, CEO of Bergen Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Photo)

She highlights the university's important role in cluster collaboration, but also the fact that investors and capital interests now seeks closer relations to the cluster.
– I am extremely proud of the cluster and what you have achieved in these ten years. All the best for your anniversary and the years to come.

Do you remember the term “convergence”?
Ten years might not seem like a very long time, but in the media industry it's almost an eternity. 
Ten years ago the hot topics of discussions were "convergence" and "mass media", and the media tech solutions and early TV graphics were simple and limited. Today, the Media Cluster works with cutting edge AR solutions, virtual studios, AI and algorithms. Not to forget TV 2's state of the art TV studio in Media City Bergen that attracts hundreds of visiting delegations from all over the world every year.

Over the years, thousands of jobs have been created, media tech is reshaped, and important milestones are achieved. Courageous and bold ambitions have boosted global attraction, and at home, Media City Bergen, the Media Cluster HQ and the hub and heart of the entire Media Cluster, could finally open in 2017. 

Future activities
The cluster is moving forward, and the member companies are working non-stop and dedicated on creating the next ideas and innovations. Initiated by NCE Media, The Norwegian Cognitive Center has been launched together with several important partners, and the first projects are initiated to solve major challenges in society. The cluster is recognized as one of four environments in Europe with cutting-edge expertise in AI. There is a brand-new Journalism Lab ready to use by editors, journalists and techies, and new initiatives for raising competence and knowledge. In June, the new NCE Media Satellite in Stavanger opened. 

Study Tours are planned for Tokyo/Seoul (August 2020) and to New York (November 2020). In a few weeks NCE Media welcomes the SVG Europe Nordic Summit to MCB for the third time, and in May, for the very first time, NCE Media will host a conference in partnership with the World Broadcast Union in Media City Bergen, the WBU/IMCG Forum

And not to forget: Are you future ready? mcb tech .20 and Future Week are on in June. Stay tuned!

Thank you all
Today the Norwegian Media Cluster thank everyone who have assisted, contributed, helped, cheered, motivated (Norwegian: “hipset”), supported, shaped and participated. We are incredibly proud and grateful, and look forward to the next ten years with all of you!


Here are some enjoyable photo highlights from the Media Cluster History: 

Olav Sandnes, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, TV 2, opened the very first mcb tech conference in 2018,
arranged in collaboration with another industry cluster, NCE Finance Innovation.

The academic institutions, and the University of Bergen in particular, have from the start been strongly involved in cluster activities and collaboration. Now, the students are in close contact with the industry throughout their studies. The UiB's study programs in Media City Bergen are amongst the most popular studies in Norway. 

His Royal Highness The Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and the President of the Slovak Republic, Andrej Kiska visited Media City Bergen and the Media Cluster in June, 2018. 

Hackathons are popular. Every year the Media Cluster arrange several, and quite often in collaboration with The City of Bergen, and Media Lab Partners IBM, Sparebanken Vest and Deloitte Digital. 

The Media City Bergen Village at IBC, bringing 14-15 different companies from the Media Cluster to Europes larges media technology expo. 

In November 2018, Bergen Chamber of Commerce and Industry awarded NCE Media "Hipse-prisen". In local Bergen dialect, "hipse" means giving someone praise ans recognition.

The SVG Nordic summit was set up in MCB for the first time in 2018, and is about to be arranged for the third time. The conference brings all the Nordic broadcasters and publishers to Bergen. 

A dream come true! The MCB Media Lab were officially launched in Amsterdam during IBC, and in front of both cluster members and our peers in the international industry. Other guests were Innovation Norway, the City of Bergen, and Media Lab Partners IBM and Deloitte Digital. 

Media City Bergen construction.

The CEO's from the two Norwegian national broadcasters Olav Sandnes (TV 2) and Thor Gjermund Erichsen (NRK) visits the construction site.

November 2015: Prime Minister Erna Solberg laid the foundation stone of Media City Bergen.

Every year NCE Media organizes several study tours, and sometimes to New York. Standing at Time Square at election night, glancing at all the huge video-walls where most of the graphic solutions are made in Bergen, can be a powerful experience. 

In the early days the events, like the annual and popular Straight from the Labs in May, were held in different locations in Bergen. This was a great opportunity to showcase groundbreaking innovations from the members to the rest of the Media Community. Here, CEO at Highsoft, Grethe Hjetland, demonstrates Highcharts. 

It used to be a big celebration every year when NCE Media were awarded "Innovasjonsrammen" from Innovation Norway. This was extra funding the cluster organization could administer themselves, and hand out to great ideas and innovations amongst members. This funding was the crucial trigger for solutions like Ease Live from Sixty, the robots from Electric Friends and the InRange from Scanreach. (Unfortunately, this financing instrument does not exist in this form anymore.)

A proud day! MediArena is accepted into the NCE Media program. Svein Ove Søreide (at the time representing TV 2), and Stig Frode Opsvik (at the time representing MediArena) together with Minister Monica Mæland.