January 14, 2011
Northern Sprouts award innovation grants

Northern Sprouts recently awarded grants to ten innovation projects at a ceremony in the University of Akureyri. The grants are sponsored by the Alcoa Foundation. Altogether, 29 projects have been supported through Northern Sprouts.

Northern Sprouts is the name chosen for a temporary initiative which has been ongoing between the University of Akureyri (UNAK), Impra Innovation Center and Alcoa Fjardaál with the aim to support ideas for innovation in Northeast Iceland. The Alcoa Foundation supported the project with around $50,000.
"We certainly hope that this grant will be useful to push the innovation projects forward. The Northern Sprouts initiative was started in the spring of 2009, and by now, 29 projects have been supported. Many of the grants have already created jobs for the people involved," said berglind Hallgrímsdóttir, managing director of Impra, a part of the Iceland Innovation Center.
Berglind said that the aim of Northern Sprouts is to support innovation ideas set forward by individuals in Northeast Iceland, that is, in the area from Djúpavogur to Eyjafjordur in the east and north of Iceland. "The purpose of the initiative is to encourage innovation in the economy of Northeast Iceland and support individuals who are unemployed and have a business idea, and to assist them with launching the business," Berglind said.
According to Berglind, this initiative also aims at encouraging the professional processing of business ideas iwith profitability and market demands as a guiding light, and to motivate those seeking employment to look for new job opportunities.
A total of 36 applications were submitted, which is impressive, especially in view of the fact that these are not nationwide grants. 
The grantees this time were:
Anna Sóley Herbertsdóttir - The design and rubdown of Massage Stones  
Arngrímur Viðar Ásgeirsson - Sustainable hunting in Autumn 
Ásgeir Ívarsson – Green chemical industry
Björn Gunnarsson – Icelandic Medical Flights, ICEMED
Guðný Vésteinsdóttir – Birch sap - increase and preservation
Helga Ragnheiður Jósepsdóttir – Meat hooks
Hildur Einarsdóttir – Sailing in Hálslón reservoir
Jón Þór Benediktsson – Akureyri Ski Bus
Rán ehf. – Plastic boat factory
Sigurbjörn Höskuldsson - Snow jet

Click image to enlarge.

Lucky winners

Grantees at the ceremony in Akureyri.