The Reykjavik Science City is a new project launched by Business Iceland to promotes Iceland’s many qualities as a desirable location for innovative companies, especially in sectors related to green-tech, blue-tech, and life sciences. Iceland’s offers favorable investment incentives, rich R&D environment, and cutting-edge research in life sciences, sea-tech and energy. Convenient location, midway between North America and Europe, as well as a family friendly society make Iceland an attractive option for companies in these fields.
Jobs in the tech-sector increased by 14% during the pandemic
According to Business Iceland’s study on the operating environment of tech and innovation companies, jobs in these sectors increased by 14% in 2020, despite the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. Jarþrúður Ásmundsdóttir, head of innovation and technology at Business Iceland sees multiple opportunities in these sectors. “Reykjavik Science City is Business Iceland´s largest initiative focusing on innovation and tech. The goal is to promote Iceland as the perfect environment for innovation, technology, and development. Reykjavik has unique infrastructures, for example universities, science labs, and tech companies.” says Jarþrúður.
The focus of Reykjavik Science City lies in three main sectors, blue-tech, green-tech, and life sciences. Icelanders have already gained incisive knowledge and experience in these sectors, that is concentrated in a small geographical area that allows for the sharing of ideas and best practices.
Dagur B Eggertsson the mayor of Reykjavik says that Reykjavik Science City is one of the employment mainstays in the city. “We need diversity in our businesses and powerful, knowledgeable businesses are part of our city’s competitiveness. Reykjavík Science City consist of excellent research entities at the National Hospital, the University of Iceland, and the University of Reykjavik. There are already progressive and globally successful companies like CCP, Decode, and Alvogen in the area along with heaps of small and medium sized start-up companies in the tech and science sector. We are determined to increase the number of large, strong tech and innovation companies in Reykjavik Science City and to nurture the growth of smaller companies and startups. The future is bright in Reykjavik Science City.” Says Dagur.
From Siri and Google to the Science City
Guðmundur Hafsteinsson the founder and CEO of Fractal 5 describes Reykjavík Science City as a fruitful environment for tech and innovation companies. Guðmundur has 20 years of experience in the tech sector, has founded and sold tech companies in Silicon Valley, and was also head of product development at Siri which was later bought by Apple. He also was the head of product for Google Assistant. After 15 years in the US, he moved back to Iceland in 2019. The Fractal 5 team has its headquarters in Reykjavik Science City, and are now developing a new software, break.is a social product which enables people to have more meaningful relationships with individuals.