The Explorer

History of The Explorer

Simon Cornils

The Explorer was launched internationally by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon on 24 May 2019 at the GreenTech Festival in Berlin. The Explorer is now a digital marketplace for green technology from Norway, with a matchmaking function connecting potential buyers and investors with Norwegian solution providers.

The Explorer is one component of the Government’s initiative to position Norway as a pioneer in sustainability and to increase exports.

In January 2017, Innovation Norway was commissioned to develop The Explorer by Prime Minister Solberg. By September 2017, the digital showroom had begun to take shape. Innovation Norway was invited to the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit to share how Norway is working to create a more diversified national economy centred around sustainability. Cathrine Pia Lund, Director of Division Brand Norway, spoke to an engaged audience and presented a video of the forerunner to The Explorer.

Zef Nikolla/UN Global Compact

Cathrine Pia Lund presents a video of the forerunner to The Explorer at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit.

On 31 May 2018, The Explorer was launched in Norway as a digital showroom for Norwegian green and sustainable solutions. While open to everyone to browse and explore, the first year was dedicated to raising awareness of The Explorer in the Norwegian business community and encouraging companies to submit their solutions.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg pressing the launch button with Anita Krohn Traaseth, then-CEO of Innovation Norway.

Partners in development

Norway has formal partnerships with United Nations Global Compact, DNV GL and Sustainia. The Explorer was planned in collaboration with these partners, who are also the founders of the Global Opportunity Explorer.

The Explorer owes much of its structure to the Global Opportunity Explorer (GOE). Through several visits and reviews with the GOE team in Denmark, Norway’s development team gained essential insight into ways to connect pressing global sustainability problems with a diversity of solutions that address them. The Explorer strives to maintain standards as high as the GOE’s, both in the quality of content and the way it is presented.

The two Explorers complement one another and are maintaining the partnership with ongoing dialogue to facilitate exchange of ideas and plans for future development. The hope is that these platforms – and others – not only provide an community for exchange of solutions, but also are solutions themselves.