Communication and Dissemination
NORA strongly believes in the power of collaboration and interaction. To achieve this, the right type of communication, meeting venues and arenas have to be created. In order to provide a platform for NORA's researchers and entrepreneurs, NORA frequently organises conferences, seminars, webinars and workshops. NORA's webpage, www.nora.ai, is NORA's primary communication and information channel. In addition, NORA has a presence on social media, such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.

Annual Conference
NORA was kicked off by a NORA confer­ence in April 2019. The 2020 conference was cancelled due to Covid, but in 2021 we were able to organise an in­person conference in Bergen.

On the 17th and 18th of November 2021, NORA held its first Annual Conference in Bergen. More than 100 researchers from across Norway gathered at one of Norway’s most important meeting places for the AI­ community.

The conference aims to gather the Norwegian AI research community and create a platform where invited speakers and participants can share research, ideas, theories, models, and new perspectives, and interact with peers from the field.
Knowledge sharing and interaction were and will be at the centre of the confer­ence, which hopefully will foster a strong community of researchers and practi­tioners, while bridging the gap between young researchers, startups, and industry.

The conference was open to all re­searchers from NORA universities, re­search institutes and university colleges. The conference was also open to re­presentatives from non-­partner organi­sations, industry, and the public sector.

NORA will continue to organise an an­nual conference, preferably in the spring.

NORA.ai users by country:


Nordic AI Meet
On the 1st and 2nd of November 2021, NORA, in collaboration with CLAIRE and Research Council of Norway, hosted more than 100 young researchers at the Nordic Young Researchers Symposium (Nordic AI Meet). The main purpose of the conference was to provide a platform for young AI researchers to exchange ideas, build collaborations and form a Nordic approach for building AI solutions for the societal good.

Although AI has received a lot of at­tention by society, the education and research in AI and AI­-related areas need to be strengthened. Increasing knowl­edge, building networks and exchanging experiences will be crucial in determining how to approach the development and use of AI. The Nordic AI Young Researcher Symposium was conceived with these challenges in mind. The conference of­fered keynote speeches from prominent professors and researchers, oral presenta­tions, industry presentations, academic posters, and panel debate, combined with the opportunity to interact and socialise with other researchers.

NORA believes in providing a platform for young researchers to present, discuss and promote their research.
Therefore, a set of short oral presentations from selected PhD students/Postdocs were an integral part of the programme. Each PhD/young research­er received 15 minutes to present their PhD project/current research. View the list of invited speakers and project titles here.

Several young researchers also partici­pated with posters illustrating their ideas. The posters stimulated discussion and exchange of ideas during the breaks. The winning poster was developed by Cath­rine Bui. Alise Midtfjord won the award for best oral presentation of her research.

The conference confirmed the need for more interaction and student exchange between the Nordic countries. One of the take­aways from the conference was that Nordic AI cannot be world leaders in all fields, but the Nordic countries can be leaders in some subfields. For Nordic AI to become world leaders, they need to take on the great challenges that align with Nordic values and where they have competitive advantages.

PhD Symposium
In the historic surroundings of Tøyen Hovedgård, NORA held its first PhD Symposium on the 25th and 26th of February 2020. The PhD Symposium was a two­-day lunch to lunch event about AI­related topics for PhD stu­dents, followed by an informal dinner and a social event.

The event also marked the start of the NORA Research School.

During the two­-day event, several lectures in the field of AI were giv­en. The programme also allowed for mingling and networking, including screening of the new Norwegian movie iHuman.
Above: Participants at NORA ́s first PhD symposium in February 2020

NORA Podcast
NORA has established its own podcast – NORA forklarer kunstig intelligens (NORA explains Artificial Intelligence). This is a pod­cast for everyone interested in AI and wanting an in­depth analysis of different topics.

The podcast is hosted by Klas Petter­ sen, CEO of NORA and Morten Goodwin, professor at UiA and deputy head of the Center for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR). In every episode, they have a guest visitor who helps us dig deeper into their specialised field. So far, the podcast has released six episodes.

NORA frequently communicates with its partners, members, and other interested parties through a monthly newsletter. The newsletter has almost 1,500 subscribers and has become a useful tool to com­municate activities and achievements at NORA, its partners, and the Norwegian AI community as a whole.
Number of
NORA Newsletter Subscribers

NORA Seminars and Webinar Series
NORA hold regular Friday seminars and webinars. Due to the COVID­-outbreak, mostly webinars have been held in the last two years. NORA has held a total of 51 webinars in the last two years, with an average of 46 attendees. These include both webinars with research topics and NORA.startup webinars.
Number of participants in NORA's webinars by country

NORA Alphafold and Rosettafold Workshop
The Alphafold Rosettafold workshop resulted in as much as 15% (~15K visits) of the traffic to NORA’s website in 2021!

As Norway’s leading and largest AI­-net­work, NORA took it upon itself to organise a tw-o­day workshop about the recent significant scientific discoveries related to protein folding on 30 August and 1 Sep­tember 2021. The workshop saw partici­pation from more than 600 researchers from all over the world covering more than 40 countries.

The workshop not only made NORA visible throughout the global community but also kick­started the process of providing large scale AI methods as an online service to Norwegian researchers. With the excellent support of the USIT staff (University of Oslo), NORA was able to organise the installation of AlphaFold and RosettaFold on University of Oslo servers and on national infrastructure. These algorithms are now available to all the Norwegian researchers.

During the workshop, NORA was able to provide researchers with the opportunity to use these advance methods. With the trend of AI methods in the field becoming large scale, NORA looks to play an important role in organising the installation and access to computational infrastructure as a service to Norwegian researchers on demand and at short notice.

This workshop provided an excellent opportunity for the NORA team along with stakeholders to pilot Algorithms as a service approach.
We are happy to report that even after the workshop ended, there is still demand from the researchers to access these installations. This proves the long­term benefit of these actions.

The workshop attracted world leading experts in the field of AI, Protein Fold­ing and related topics, who presented their tools and methods, among other things. Among the keynote speakers were:

• Minkyung Baek from the University of Washington, who was the author of the first RoseTTAfold­article.
• Sameer Velanker, Team Leader for the Protein Data Bank in Europe.
• Randy John Read, Cambridge University
• Jim Brase, Co­lead of the ATOM con­sortium and Deputy Associate Director for Computing, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The workshop was held for participants who wanted to get hands­on experience with the tools and methods. Both algorithms were pre­installed on Norwegian supercomputers, and workshop partici­pants were tutored on how to run Alpha­ Fold v2.0 and RoseTTAFold. The goal of the workshop was not only to boost Norwegian and international research in protein folding and function by advanced AI methods, but also to inspire develop­ment of AI­-powered biotech in Norway.

*Map above: Countries represented at Alphafold and Rosettafold workshop

AI in Life Sciences
In 2022, we look forward to further strengthening AI in the life sciences network by linking together strong existing research environments and clusters.
COVID-19 has put the field of life sciences under the spotlight, and we can agree that COVID-19 presented an unantici­pated challenge to humanity to colla­borate and speed up finding the vaccine and therapies to slowdown the expo­nential growth of the virus. The field of life science has seen an increasing use of AI methods in the discovery of drugs, and we have already seen good results over the last two years.

The AlphaFold and RosettaFold met­ hods are a promising line of work which first appeared in 2020-21; the field is moving rapidly and has generated a lot of interest in the life science communi­ty. Norway has a good ecosystem in life science research with ecosystems such as Digital Life Norway and other research groups working at the forefront. Require­ments shared by the community through interacting at workshops are as follows:

  • Short training programmes on the emerging computational methods
  • Access to computational infrastructure
NORA has also interacted with other large players in the field like AI Sweden and AstraZeneca, and it seems possible to join forces at the Nordic level to cre­ate a network to collaborate on shaping the future of AI in life science. NORA is committed to bringing together various pieces of the puzzle and creating value for the community by regularly holding short training programmes on emerging methods and streamlining the access to computational infrastructure as much as possible. In 2022, we look forward to furt­her strengthening AI in the life sciences network by linking together strong exist­ing research environments and clusters.

With an estimated 75,000 visitors, Aren­dalsuka is by far Norway’s largest politi­cal meeting venue. In collaboration with University of Agder (UiA), NORA was able to put AI on the agenda at Arendalsuka in 2019 with the seminar AI in the Health Sector: Key to a Longer Life, but...? The former Minister of Digitalisation Nikolai Astrup was one of the keynote speakers.

As the name indicates, the topic of the seminar was AI in the health sector. The development and use of AI in the health sector will lead to better diagnosis of dis­eases, better treatment of patients and a generally higher quality of life in the population. However, NORA wanted to discuss whether Norway will be able to take leadership in this sector from a politi­cal, legal, and technological perspective.
NORA and UiA put AI on the agenda at Arendalsuka
Arendalsuka is Norways largest political meeting
NORA held a seminar about AI in the health sector