Innovatoriet – a welfare technology exhibition
Innovatoriet, in the city of Horten in Norway, houses the largest exhibition of welfare technology in Europe. 150 different welfare technologies from 60 different providers are exhibited. Innovatoriet was founded to make it easier for physiotherapists, companies and other parties interested in welfare technology to find inspiration in one place, instead of having to search many different places.
Innovatoriet works hard to spread information on welfare technology.
Innovatoriet arranges two to three hour visits, where the visitor is introduced to welfare technology and its importance, and then is shown the products. At the end of the tour, there is time to reflect and share experiences, so that both visitors and staff members can gain insight.
We contacted the director of Innovatoriet, Torill Lønningdal, and asked her why welfare technology is important, and what Innovatoriet is doing to keep themselves up to date on the subject.
What kinds of welfare technology do you have?
Primarily, they are products that help people be self-sufficient. We don’t have welfare technology for treatment, that is, products for hospitals and physicians. But for people who live at home or in care facilities.
Why have you chosen to focus on welfare technology?
We want to help people become self-sufficient. Also for society as a whole, because we cannot afford so many employees in the health and social services. There is often a high level of absence because of illness among employees in this sector, so welfare technology could lighten the workload for staff.
What do you do to stay updated on the newest technology?
We often attend trade exhibitions and conferences, and we travel to Denmark a lot. That’s where it’s happening! We have almost 60 providers for Innovatoriet. These providers are good at telling us about new products from others, but now we have grown to a size that means we often are contacted by the providers themselves. But if we see a good product at a trade exhibition, we contact the provider.
What is the status for welfare technology in Norway?
Norway watches Denmark closely in regards to welfare technology. There is not as much happening in Norway as in Denmark. But many companies import products to Norway, including Innovatoriet. When we import a product from Denmark, and our Norwegian distributors are visiting, they become aware of new products. In some ways, we serve as a gateway from Denmark to Norway.
What are you doing to spread information about welfare technology in Norway?
We do presentations and workshops for employees in the municipality, for students and for politicians. In this way, we are contributing to general education about welfare technology.
What is the future for welfare technology?
Welfare technology is becoming broader. Until now, there has been a high degree of focus on the elderly. I think there will be more focus on children and youth, and more focus on other sectors than the health sector. For example in education and schools. This tendency has been very clear, for example with the new robot technology, where social robots are used for learning in schools.
At Innovatoriet, you can see and try out about 150 different kinds of welfare technology. For example Treax Pads.
Welfare technology will become broader and broader, according to Torill. If you want to know more, and see the products that Innovatoriet displays, you can visit their website HERE .