NOSCA “sharpens” its efforts
In connection with NOSCA’s strategy review, work in some key areas is being intensified.
– The working groups have been renamed “steering groups” to highlight the most important fields in which we work, says Eirik Langeland, General Manager in NOSCA Clean Oceans.
Three steering groups are currently active: 1) oil-spill response and environmental preparedness, 2) marine pollution, and 3) biological threats to the marine environment. In addition, focus groups dealing with more specific topics will be formed as and when required.
– This structure involves frequent meetings, and creates great engagement among our members. Each steering group is led by two people of whom one is from academia. Along with good geographical spread, this will help ensure a wide as exchange of views as possible, says Langeland.
Cluster in development
The steering group for oil-spill response and environmental preparedness is co-led by Aril Jørgensen from NorLense and Kristin Rist Sørheim from SINTEF Ocean.
– Our division in SINTEF Ocean has worked with oil spill preparedness and response for decades. We study areas such as the disintegration characteristics of oils when spilled on water, and which response measures that are best suited, says Sørheim.
She is pleased that NOSCA as a cluster is in continuous development, and that the group she heads is comprised of participants from various fields linked to oil spill response – a multidisciplinary approach that creates numerous valuable synergies.
The group’s co-leader, Aril Jørgensen, works as Senior Sales Manager at NorLense – a company headquartered in Hadsel municipality, Nordland.
– We have produced oil spill boom systems since 1975, and is one of NOSCA’s founder members from 1993, says Jørgensen who has worked in the field of oil spill response all his adult life.
He is fascinated to see how this now can be adapted to combat other marine pollution.
– In NOSCA, we share experiences and gain access to innovative ideas, and we have also benefited from cluster collaboration in connection with large projects. We have booms, others have skimmers or other necessary equipment – and together we can produce excellent package solutions.
Many new products
The steering group for marine pollution is led by Trond Lindheim, Product Manager at SpillTech, together with Eivind Bastesen from the Norwegian Research Centre (NORCE).
– SpillTech has oil spill response at is core, but started developing a skimmer that also collects marine waste already in 2016. Since then we have developed several other products along this line, and more are in the making, says Lindheim.
Nevertheless, he believes that there is still a virgin market to explore for this type of waste solutions.
– This is an area where NOSCA’s members can benefit greatly through collaboration, sharing of knowledge, and leverage of synergies.
Eivind Bastesen, Senior Researcher at NORCE, believes that a multidisciplinary group comprised of research, industry, and management expertise is an ideal pooling of resources.
– I hope that this collaboration will provide opportunities for the development of projects aimed at practical recovery of marine pollution, but also for research and technology development linked to monitoring and mapping, says Bastesen.
He mentions mapping and solutions relating to plastic waste in rivers as an excellent example of areas in which NORCE would like to be involved.
Numerous biological threats
Kristin C. Valle works as Environmental Advisor at the Trondheim-based company NORBIT Aptomar. She heads the steering group for biological threats to the marine environment together with Silje Forbord, Senior Researcher at SINTEF Ocean.
– I have vast experience in the monitoring of harmful algae, and our group take a great interest in macroalgae (seaweed). I find it fascinating to see how different parties contribute to specialist fields that are new to them, says Forbord.
Also Valle takes an interest in marine ecosystems and the balance developed and fine-tuned by nature over millions of years.
– The negative impact on life and balance in the ocean caused by humans has become more and more evident over the past few years. I am involved in this work to find solutions that may, if not reverse the problem, at least help reduce the negative consequences of these biological threats.
Can see results
Valle highlights NOSCA’s sargassum project, which has been one of the group’s areas of focus the past year.
– It is about detecting, collecting, compressing, transporting, and delivering parts of the sargassum biomass to local industry. We are collaborating with the Autonomy Cluster in Trondheim, and the project will continue during autumn and hopefully culminate in a concept study.
NOSCA has a long tradition of network building, from its start-up in 1993 to being awarded cluster status in 2020.
– We are confident in what we are doing. Our efforts to adapt oil spill response systems to deal with other challenges attracts interest from all over the world. It is an area in which we are further advanced than most. This has largely been achieved by focusing on the most relevant issues, says Eirik Langeland.