Samherji founders establish new company to invest in Eyjafjördur region of Iceland

Samherji Managing Director of Ship Operations Kristján Vilhelmsson and Samherji CEO Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson in front of the first vessel the company purchased 40 years ago.

The founders of Icelandic seafood company Samherji have started a new company with the purpose of fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the Eyjafjördur region of Iceland.

Samherji CEO Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson and Samherji Managing Director of Ship Operations Kristján Vilhelmsson, who both helped found the company in 1983, recently created Drift EA to help establish new businesses in Akureyri, Iceland. The new company is intended to offer facilities and support to new businesses and entrepreneurs to assist them in developing ideas both domestically and internationally. 

"We have always based Samherji's headquarters in Akureyri, operated the company's vessels from here, and built well-equipped processing houses in Akureyri and Dalvík,” Baldvinsson said in a release. “Now, we want to create fertile ground for innovation in this historic building at Rádhústorg in Akureyri and, thus, further support the development of the economy in our local community."

Baldvinsson and Vilhelmsson said Drift EA is in part a celebration of the company’s 40-year anniversary and a means to develop projects in Samherji’s area of operation. 

"The story of Samherji is essentially the story of an entrepreneurial and innovative company,” Vilhelmsson said. “We wanted to commemorate the 40th anniversary in a symbolic way and, by doing so, contribute to new stories of this kind being told here in our hometown.”

The founders said they consulted with domestic and international partners and decided to have Drift EA's work focus on the fields of food production, health and medical products, biotechnology, software solutions for the fishing industry, and “green solutions.” The new enterprise will be based in the Landsbanki building in Rádhústorg, which is located in the Icelandic town of Akureyri in the country’s northern region.

“The goal is for the old Landsbanki building to become a center of innovation here in the Eyjafjördur area," Vilhelmsson said. 

Photo courtesy of Samherji


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