Norwegian Government Proposes Allocation for New North Norwegian Capital Fund

The fund aims for an initial target of NOK 400 million, about half of which would come from the state.

By Hilde-Gunn Bye, High North News - May 12, 2021
Trade Minister Iselin Nybø (Liberals) said that if private funds match the initial public outlay the government would contribute additional funds. (Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries)

The Norwegian government proposed a new North Norwegian investment fund in its revised national budget proposal on Tuesday, and said is ready to provide up to half of the initial target of NOK 400 million. The moves brings more clarity to the proposed capital fund, which was first announced in the High North whitepaper in the autumn of 2020.

The fund is aimed at entrepreneurs and start-ups, and investments are to be made in companies and projects located in Northern Norway in order to facilitate local innovation and growth opportunities. The fund is to consist of 50 percent state funds and 50 percent private capital, and it is to be localized in northern Norway.

The revised national budget states that the fund should contain a minimum of NOK 400 million (nearly $50 million), out of which the state is to provide half. The state is to contribute with funding in at the same time and on the same conditions as private co-investors, according to a press release.

It is further suggested that Investinor will be tasked with announcing the governance of the fund and of the state’s part of the ownership. The governor of the fund gets to choose where in northern Norway the fund will be located.

“We are confident that there is competence and capital in the High North that will benefit from this initiative. When state funding has triggered an equal amount of private capital, the government will consider increasing the state’s contribution to the fund with another NOK 200 million”, says Trade Minister Iselin Nybø (Liberals).

An input meeting with relevant actors is currently being planned, amongst others to receive input regarding what criteria to emphasize when the fund’s governing body is to be selected, as well as the form and mandate for the fund.

“This is to be an expert fund for finding the good projects in Northern Norway. In recent years, fish farming as well as the fish industry have done well, thus we hope it will be possible to find private investors in order to add momentum to the fund”, says Fisheries and Seafood Minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen (Conservatives).

This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by HNN’s Elisabeth Bergquist.