About 600 companies exhibited at the Nor-Shipping fair. The fairs and conferences were visited by about 20 thousand. participants. Norway has focused on innovative maritime clusters. As a country with ocean ambitions, she supports them at every step. About 10 years ago, the government program Norwegian Innovation Clusters (NIC) was established, which supported the development of maritime clusters.
GCE Blue Maritime. GCE is one of the leading clusters in Norway. This means that this cluster has achieved the highest level in the Norwegian Innovation Cluster community. This cluster is one of the three expert centers – Global Centers of Expertise – in Norway.
The cluster operating in the Møre region has created a partnership characterized by dynamic business relations. The Cluster potential focused on the incubation and implementation of innovations in maritime industries and services. As a result, GCE Blue Maritime has high growth potential in domestic and international markets.
A cluster with expert potential
The cluster has 200 companies and is the largest industrial cluster in Norway. He represents the Norwegian maritime business very strongly. The cluster integrates to a large extent the Norwegian shipbuilding industry and shipping, especially Arctic passenger shipping and ferry services. Companies operating in the cluster provide employment for 14 thousand. employees. Cluster members generate annual revenues of NOK 50 billion.
-The cluster programme is a brilliant solution for the maritime companies, says Cluster CEO Daniel Garden, at one of the cluster meetings and reminded that since 2004 the governmental funded Norwegian Innovation Clusters has paid 50% of the cluster costs, only met by the companies’ work hours for the other 50.
Revenues from the production and service activities of the cluster operating in the Møre region decreased by 5% compared to 2019. Not all groups of the maritime cluster had a decrease in sales revenues in 2020. Producers of marine equipment and equipment recorded an increase in revenues by as much as 11%, exceeding the same dynamics of the shipyard’s revenues. In financial terms, the total sales of this cluster in 2020 reached 49.2 billion NOK.
Innovations drive cluster exports
– As for most of the world economy, 2020 was also a difficult year for the maritime cluster in Møre, inform Norwegian economists Av Erik W. Jakobsen, Lars Hallvard Lind, and Serli Abrahamoglu from Menon Economics, authors of the GCE Blue Maritime report: Cluster Performance And Market Prospects 2021.
The analysis of financial documents shows that the overall added value among maritime companies in the Møre cluster started to improve in 2019.
– Since we now have accounting data for 2020 available, we can see that the total value added increased by 30 percent from 2018 and exceeded 2016 levels, Menon Economis, experts inform.
Between 2018 and 2019, exports from the Møre maritime cluster grew much more than total revenues. Thus, the share of the cluster’s export increased from 47 to 54 percent. After this change, the share of revenues from the local/regional market decreased from 18 to 15 percent. However, during the pandemic, the change was reversed and the share of exports is estimated at 53%. in 2020 and 52 percent. in 2021 according to a calculation by Menon Economis,.
– Through the NIC, GCE Blue Maritime provides a joint arena for innovation between maritime companies, authorities, research institutions, banks, and entrepreneurs – Cluster CEO Daniel Garden emphasized during the GCE Blue Maritime meeting.
Maritime markets in 2025. Opportunity for cooperation
Menon Economis conducted an opinion poll on the past of the maritime business among the members of the GCE Blue Maritime cluster. Cluster members from the Møre region were asked to rank the market segments according to their expected importance in 2025. They focused on the development of offshore wind energy.
It is also expected that aquaculture and fisheries will remain important to cluster members until 2025. The offshore oil and gas market is also viewed as promising in Norway. And the result of the study takes on a new dimension in the background of the war waged by Russia in Ukraine. Only about 5 percent of respondents expect cruise lines to be the most important segment of the market by 2025, and an additional 5 percent of respondents rank cruise lines second or third in terms of expected importance.
The ferry market also plays an important role. About 8% of GCE Blue Maritime members consider it important and prospective, and another 8% ranked this market in 2nd or 3rd place in terms of business attractiveness.
These areas of activity of the Norwegian cluster are also attractive for the Polish shipbuilding industry. Polish shipyards cooperate closely with partners from Norway in the production of innovative ships, hydrogen production systems, and other products.
The Polish shipyards Crist, Nauta, and Remontowa Shipbuilding and their partners have the potential to deliver specific products with high innovation potential. Polish shipbuilders with their high qualifications are an important workforce in Norwegian shipyards.
3 clusters in the ZEVinnvation HUB
With the Norwegian cluster, the Baltic Sea and Space Cluster together with partners from Croatia created the ZEVinnvation HUB platform. The Norwegian cluster is represented by AKP and Vinco, and the Croatian cluster is represented by CTT and IIR.
Polish and Croatian companies and universities on this platform can inform about their production and service potential. On the ZEVinnvation HUB platform, they can position their technical innovations and ideas with a chance for commercialization. On the website, https://zevinnovation.eu/hub/ Polish and Croatian companies can enter the Norwegian and Croatian markets free of charge. The first Polish companies declared their participation in the project.
The possibility of cooperation with Norwegian maritime business was reported, among others, by prof. Andrzej Stateczny, president of Marine Technology and Tomasz Świątkowski, president of StoGda Ship Design & Engineering. Master Mariner Bartłomiej Bobko, president of EasyMarine Solution, and Tomasz Lisiecki, president of the Center for New Competencies, registered their company on the platform.
Rafał Frączek, CEO of Eko-Konsult and Arkadiusz Marat, CEO of Elmech-ASE have directed their companies and innovative solutions to the ZEVinnvation HUB platform. The ASE Technology Group is strongly represented, whose president, Dariusz Jachowicz, coordinates the activities of BSSC Hub GreenTech.
Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Shipbuilding prof. dr hab. Eng. Andrzej Seweryn and vice-dean dr hab. prof. PG Mariusz Deja, as well as dr hab. Eng. prof. Wojciech Litwin, director of the Institute of Ocean Engineering and Ship Technology at the Gdańsk University of Technology, declares that they submit the ideas of Polish scientists from the Gdańsk University of Technology. Polish universities and companies have strong support in the BSSC zero-emission vessel hub, coordinated by director Jacek Milewski from the Crist shipyard.
Poland has innovative potential in the production of green industrial systems and zero-emission ships. Polish companies and universities can appear even in such a strong team as maritime clusters from Norway, Croatia, and Poland. The essence is team positioning on international markets, offering comprehensive projects and processes. Innovative green products and processes are expected from the Scandinavian and Adriatic markets, as well as the North Sea and Baltic Sea markets. Demand for zero-emission ships is growing dynamically.
Charts: Menon Economis, Photos: BSSC, GCE Blue Maritime.