Interview

"I see an important potential for cooperation with all maritime partners in France..."

Our members are particularly interested in green and autonomous shipping solutions, which are high on the agenda in Norway but also on the global level. We are always looking for ideas from other industries and we would be happy to build new partnerships.

 

Per Erik Dalen, CEO, Norwegian Blue Maritime Cluster

Per Erik Dalen is the CEO of the Norwegian Blue Maritime Cluster.

In this exclusive interview, Per Erik Dalen talks about the strong potential for cooperation with all maritime partners in France and with other industries developing new technologies.

The French-Norwegian days on October 15th and 16th focusing on “A Smart & Clean Ocean”, will be an opportunity to create new connections between Norway and France in the maritime sector.

Read the interview and get to know about the cluster’s ongoing projects and ambitions.

 

Interview

The Blue Maritime Cluster was awarded the status of “Gold Label” by the European Cluster Excellence Initiative. How would you describe its main role and specificities?

Per Erik Dalen: The Blue Maritime Cluster was appointed by the Norwegian Government as a global centre of expertise (GCE). We are a complete maritime cluster, with a total of 220 companies from various areas such as design, yards, equipment, ship owners and service companies. This specificity has allowed us to fulfil the criteria to obtain the “Gold Label”. Being a member of the cluster and a part of this national network is essential for all Norwegian companies working in the sector.

We are currently looking at increasing competence for the whole cluster and gathering new knowledge. The cluster works on several projects, helping with financing and with the applications to research programmes such as the European Union’s Horizon 2020. And of course, we seek to increase the attractiveness of the cluster on the market, especially among students and researchers.

 

What are the Cluster’s ambitions for the years to come and the challenges facing the Norwegian maritime sector?

Per Erik Dalen: At the moment, we are focusing on at least two main areas. The first one is green technologies, and especially new energies for the maritime industry, such as hydrogen, electricity, ammoniac and others. The second area is autonomous and semi-autonomous vessels. On top of that, we are working with the people in the cluster to adapt these new technologies and to foster new ways of thinking.

We have started an important hydrogen project for which we are looking at the entire value chain, from production and infrastructure to different vessels.

We are also interested in developing technologies to remotely control vessels onshore instead of onboard the vessel. In connection with the cluster, we are running a national digital test centre with focus on virtual prototyping and digital twins.

The cluster is trying to find partners abroad that can come up with new technologies and ways of thinking, both in the maritime sector and in other fields. We are interested in the aviation and automotive sectors as well as other industries and we are trying to adapt some of their innovation. For instance, we have been studying Airbus’ helicopter prototypes which we have found very inspiring.

 

Where do you see a potential for increased cooperation in the maritime sector between France and Norway?

Per Erik Dalen: I see an important potential for cooperation with all maritime partners in France, and with French actors from all other types of industries that are developing new technologies. Norway is good at building vessels; we now need to gather new knowledge and see how we can adapt it to our vessels.

We are already working with several European countries and trying to find partners within the EU research programme. France is particularly interesting for us because the country is on the high end of the innovation and technology scale, with many new products and ideas. France also has very good universities and a well-developed research field.

 

The French-Norwegian Days 2020 (15-16 October), organised by the Chamber of Commerce in Oslo, will focus on “A Smart & Clean Ocean” aiming at connecting French and Norwegian key public and private players. On which specific topics could we collaborate with your Cluster for this event?

Per Erik Dalen: Our members are particularly interested in green and autonomous shipping solutions, which are high on the agenda in Norway but also on the global level. We are always looking for ideas from other industries and we would be happy to build new partnerships. If the right people come from France to attend this Forum, there is a potential for cooperation. The main goal of the cluster is to promote innovation and to find new ideas, so this event could be an interesting opportunity to create new connections.

 

Interested in attending the French-Norwegian Days 2020 ?

You are an innovative French start-up/SME developing solutions for a sustainable ocean: take part in the Mission "A Smart & Clean Ocean"!
Find out more here: Mission "A Smart & Clean Ocean"

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