Nokia shut-down results in Copenhagen Innovation Harbour

Nokia’s mass firing in April last year has resulted in 45 start-up businesses, writes Berlingske Tidende daily newspaper

The shut-down of Nokia’s respected R&D department in Copenhagen in 2011 has developed into a cluster of blossoming small businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups in computer technology under the name Copenhagen Innovation Harbour.

Aqtiw that creates tailor-made applications for companies is one of the entities born out of the approx. 100 former Nokia employees, who are looking to found their own companies in the Finnish giant’s vacated buildings. When Nokia closed down the R&D department, the so-called Bridge Programme was introduced, including a number of initiatives to help its former employees find new jobs. Financial support, counselling, and the permission to use the offices without paying rent until the end of the year are some of the tools Nokia has provided, and so far the project has born 45 new Danish companies.

The vision of Copenhagen Innovation Harbour is to create an incubation environment constituting established companies as well as start-ups, research units and students. This September, the University of Aalborg and 2,000 students will move into the cluster with the overall ambition of building an innovative environment that bridges research and business to generate growth.

- The idea is for these companies to be more open and use each other to achieve growth. We already see companies that shard labs and build on each other’s results. Also, it is relatively easy to find employees here given that we have an environment with at least 30 to 40 people always looking for work, explains Jens Raarup, Head of Development in Nokia.