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The French-Norwegian Trophy is awarded annually to a company, an organization or an individual having contributed in a special way to the development of trade between France and Norway.

Innovation and cooperation

Candidates are judged on several criteria, such as innovation, development of partnerships, community commitment, and public responsibility. The price is awarded by the French-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce.

"This year's winner of the trophy started its cooperation with France more than a century ago," states the jury, pointing out that French capital was important for the founding of Hydro in 1905.

The jury also emphasized Hydro's efforts in innovation and cooperation with French companies and research institutions.

"As innovation is the theme for the French Norwegian Day 2011, the Jury's decision was particularly influenced by the company's focus on this topic. As a good example of bilateral exchanges, the company cooperates regularly with universities in France in order to stimulate innovation and research and development."

Innovation: a necessity for Hydro

Today, Hydro is present at nine locations in France, with more than 1400 employees, and a turnover of 4.5 billion NOK in 2010.

Kjetil Ebbesberg, head of the Metal Markets business area, gave a speech about Hydro's innovation strategy during a conference which was arranged by the French-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.

"Every day, we are faced with demands and requirements from customers all over the world. In order for Hydro to stay competitive for another 100 years, we need to be first at developing the technologies and solutions of tomorrow," said Ebbesberg.

"It all boils down to our ability to change in a proactive way - to be a challenger and a leader in change processes. In other words, to bring forward the spirit and capabilities demonstrated by Hydro during the past 106 years."

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