It’s clear that Kongsberg Agenda is here to stay. This year’s technology event turned out to be exactly what the organizers had dreamed of – a successful meeting place for everyone with a heart for technology, industry, value creation and expertise. Together with the entire industry of Kongsberg, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace contributed on several important arenas.

The summer-rain poured when the Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre was handed a pair of giant, golden scissors to cut the red ribbon – symbolizing the official opening of Kongsberg Agenda 2023. A somewhat modest and wet, umbrella-covered audience was nevertheless still enthusiastic, anticipating that there was more to come. And from there, both the number of visitor and weather temperatures skyrocketed.

For four days, the City of Kongsberg was bathed in sunshine and packed with people, stalls, industrial exhibitions, technology and conferences and concerts. Altogether, the visitors could choose between more than 200 different events, both small and large, across the city centre and everything was free and open to everyone. In addition, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace also organized their annual supplier conference during Kongsberg Agenda, with approximately 100 representatives from 50 suppliers gathered over two days.

Industrial visibility in the city

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace participated in a number of these events with panellists, speakers, award recipients and on the stand, all as great representatives of the company. The industry and technology companies in the city of Kongsberg have never been more visible and accessible than these days.

Friday, Eirik Lie, President of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, welcomed President of the Norwegian Storting (parliament), Masud Gharahkhani, to the city. The last time the two met was in back in May, when Gharahkhani's colleague Ruslan Stefanchuk, Chair of the Ukrainian Parliament, visited Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace to talk about the importance of the NASAMS Air Defence System for Ukraine's defence capability in the war against Russia. This time the President of the Storting came to the city to take part in a panel debate on democracy, defence policy and technology, and took the opportunity to spend some time talking with Lie and other employees at KONGSBERG’s stand at Kongsberg Agenda – part of the exhibition Technology in the city centre.

“I welcome many international guests, and everyone who comes talks about NASAMS or other important defence material which is essential for their defence capability. I proudly tell them about this small area here at Kongsberg, which develops technology and exports billions for Norway,” said the President of the Storting. “A short time ago, my good colleague from Ukraine visited, and it brings everything a little closer when we know that products developed here helps save lives in Ukraine. I am incredibly proud of the good and important work KONGSBERG does,” said Gharahkhani.

Winner of the Norwegian Technology Award

It was a proud moment for all employees of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace when NASAMS won the Norwegian Technology Awards 2023 against 5 strong tech-competitors that included Kongsberg Maritime's Yara Birkeland.

Prime Minister Støre has on repeated occasions praised the Norwegian NASAMS contribution in Ukraine - and he also did when he opened Kongsberg Agenda on Wednesday. Jury leader Trond Markussen said that it was a worthy winner to receive this year's award, and that the jury agreed that Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace's technology really has shown its value in the world over the past year.

The award was presented by the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Jan Christian Vestre on behalf of Teknisk Ukeblad, and it was Director Products and Technology Øystein Lintvedt and Manager Business Development Tom-Erik Holmen from Integrated Defence Systems division who represented and received the award on behalf of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

“We are very, very proud! There’s an incredible amount of engineering-hours behind this,” said Lintvedt after the award-ceremony.

Newly opened E-sports centre

Project Manager at Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, Fredrik Grøslie could finally welcome local youths, when the Stoll E-sport centre had its official opening in the city's old cinema. As promised, this year's LAN party was also expanded to be twice the size of last year's, with close to 200 participants aged 12 and up. This year, there were also many who participated in a separate group from 18+.

KONGSBERGS’s new slogan "Protechting people and planet" was launched shortly before Kongsberg Agenda, and was clearly visible on both exhibition walls, posters and clothing.

Not unexpectedly, the air defence system NASAMS was a popular attraction during the week, in addition to the 8-metre-long, 3-metre-wide and 3-metre-high armoured vehicle Boxer – this year exhibited with the PROTECTOR Remote Turret 60 weapon system produced by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace. KONGSBERG's 20-metre long stand was well visited, and displayed models of both the F-35 combat aircraft, the Joint Strike Missile, the multi-purpose naval vessel Vanguard and the space rocket Ariane, to name a few.

“Close to 60 colleagues from both Kongsberg Maritime and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace participated in planning, organization and implementation. Visitors to our stand appreciated our openness and participation. Also, several ministers, local and regional politicians, the media and not least the President of the Parliament visited our stand,” says Kyrre Lohne, Vice President Government Relations and Business Development and in charge of organizing Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace’s role under in Technology in the city centre.

The KONGSBERG’s Human Resources’ stand was also popular among the visitors as many were curious about job opportunities and future career possibilities. The student projects from Revolve and Ascend from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Navier from University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) attracted a lot of attention with their self-developed products; racing car, drone and autonomous boat.

Another successful Kongsberg Agenda has come to an end. We are already looking forward to next year.