A number of groundbreaking transport concepts are under development in Norway. In order to maintain this leading position, investments must be sustained and funds for research and development of new technology increased. The maritime cluster in Norway has significant opportunities to develop solutions in this area that the world needs, through interdisciplinary collaboration and increased research efforts.
Cluster collaboration in Norway is impressive, and is seen by the rest of the world as a major Norwegian competitive advantage. The close collaboration between the industry, research and innovation stakeholders and the public sector has brought success in many areas.
Internationally, collaborative research is used strategically to solve increasingly pressing challenges facing the world. One example is the United Kingdom, where sector agreements have been in place for a number of years between the authorities, business, research and educational institutions and organizations.
With the business community in the driver’s seat, clear strategies and agreements are laid out on how to meet common challenges and opportunities. This should provide inspiration for Norwegian businesses and the Norwegian authorities. We believe that sector agreements are needed to realize the opportunities offered by the technology laboratory that the Norwegian coast comprises.
Realizing the Ocean Space Centre must be a priority
The business community’s access to physical infrastructure for development and innovation is crucial for competitiveness in Norway. Investments in future-oriented R&D and infrastructure are needed to maintain our position as a nation of knowledge.
Research infrastructure at the Marine Technology Centre in Trondheim has contributed to creating great value over many decades. Today’s research infrastructure is unfortunately showing clear signs of wear. Our most important tools for innovation and new development are disappearing, and this is dramatic. For this reason, realizing the Ocean Space Centre must be made a critical priority.
Furthermore, it is absolutely crucial to quickly establish the infrastructure for renewable energy. Facilitating a green infrastructure along the coast is a prerequisite for adopting new technologies, and for participation in international research projects.
The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association encourages the authorities to:
- Finance the Ocean Space Centrethrough a positive investment decision laid out in the proposed state budget for 2022
- Initiate sector agreements in Norway, for example in floating offshore wind, artificial intelligence and development of zero-emission technology, which can contribute to realizing the Norwegian coast as a technology laboratory
- Ensure a significant place for ocean-based research and innovation in EU research and innovation programs