Telenor adds IoT lab and testbeds to Trondheim AI research unit

09 March 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

The CEO of Telenor has opened a laboratory for internet of things (IoT) research and development in the city of Trondheim.

The IoT lab will work alongside an artificial intelligence (AI) lab that the company launched a year ago, backed with €5.2 million of funding from Telenor.

"Our two labs in Trondheim will be strengthened by each other and will contribute to fostering digital innovation in Norway," said CEO Sigve Brekke, opening the new unit today.

"IoT ProtoLab will be an experimental centre for research and innovation within the internet of things. IoT means that data on our physical surroundings are made available in large [quantities], which in turn fuels fantastic opportunities for research and innovation within artificial intelligence."

The new lab will use a citywide IoT-testbed activated by Wireless Trondheim and is connected to Telenor’s Start IoT initiative. Users will get access to IoT devices, a developer portal, and an experimental licensed low-power wide access network such as narrowband IoT (NB-IoT). This will enable piloting and developing of prototypes without large cost, said Telenor.

Brekke said: "Artificial intelligence is perhaps the single most important technology of our century. In the future, AI will drive your car, revolutionise cancer treatment and make public services more efficient. With this opening we want to accelerate the education, research and competency building which will be crucial for Norway’s ability to compete in the digital future."

The IoT ProtoLab is part of a newly established community for hardware-centric start-ups in Trondheim. A number of them will work in the lab on solutions for anything from healthcare and drones to smart cities. It is being run in conjunction with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Thomas Ulleberg, manager for Wireless Trondheim, which is responsible for the daily operation of IoT ProtoLab, said: "The mission of the IoT ProtoLab is to enable students, entrepreneurs and established industry to be able to jointly experiment, test and develop new solutions using next-generation IoT technologies."

NTNU rector Gunnar Bovim said: "The IoT ProtoLab will further accelerate the knowledge generation by contributing with valuable data into the AI lab. It will also increase the number of innovations to the market by being an important arena for collaboration where knowledge meets entrepreneurship."

Topics: Telenor, AI, IoT, Trondheim, R&D, Wireless Trondheim, NTNU, lab