There aren’t many Norwegians that have revolutionized the world. Kristian Birkeland is one of them. More than 100 years ago, this young, ambitious scientist was determined to understand what caused the northern lights. His curiosity led to the discovery of fertilizer. He was the first to use electricity to extract nitrogen from the air.
Birkeland’s groundbreaking invention in 1905 helped save millions of lives during the emerging famine in Europe and laid the foundations of Norsk Hydro, now Yara. His legacy remains an inspiration for the company. Much like Birkeland rose to the challenges of his time, Yara addresses the challenges of today and tomorrow. Together with farmers and industrial customers, we develop innovative solutions that help feed a growing population responsibly and protect our planet.
To celebrate the ingenious spirit of our founding father, Yara has teamed up with UiO: Natural Sciences and technology, The Norwegian Science Academy, The Norwegian Space Center and The Technical Museum to host a celebration of Birkeland’s 150th anniversary in Oslo, Norway, between June 13 and June 16, 2017.
On June 14, Yara will host an innovation conference themed “Facing the future together” in the aula of the University of Oslo. Among many others, the conference will be attended by the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg.
Birkeland is said to have been Norway’s most foresighted scientist of all times. His discoveries changed society forever. But it wasn’t easy. Birkeland was met with a lot of resistance, especially from British scientists. He never won the Nobel Prize, even though he was nominated eight times, and he died before he turned 50.
In Yara, his legacy stays with us, and we continue to grow through new innovation and transforming global challenges into value creating business opportunities. It is with great pride that we celebrate Birkeland’s achievements and strive to follow his lead.