Strategic planning for the future
The members of NOSCA Clean Oceans have great ambitions, and have expanded their oil spill response competencies to include ocean plastic and other marine pollution, harmful algae and marine threats. This unlocks new, exciting opportunities through which to transfer their technology and expertise to important areas of the environmental sector and Norwegian business and industry.
– We have operated as an Arena cluster for one year, and have from the start had a more mature member base compared with a cluster built from scratch. We have already collaborated for almost 30 years in the sale and marketing of Norwegian oil recovery equipment across the world, and we realise that the activities and ambitions of our members are developing at a faster pace than what the cluster in its current format has the capacity to handle. We are in the process of finalising an in-depth strategy review where we look further ahead, and have also identified a great potential for more ambitious targets going forward, says Cluster Manager Eirik Langeland.
The main objective of the cluster is bring ideas to maturity and to facilitate development and collaboration projects with a view to solve the immense challenges of various forms of marine pollution worldwide. This is an area of tremendous growth, for both the cluster and its relevant markets.
The awareness of clean-up efforts and protection of marine environments across the globe is rising rapidly. In addition, exciting technological developments in oil production will lead to new requirements for future oil spill response solutions. The task of the cluster is to facilitate changes in marine-related industries where Norway is at the forefront internationally.
Several collaboration projects are already underway, and the cluster has identified numerous new business opportunities in its ongoing strategy process.
Collaboration fosters engagement
And there is no shortage of ideas. Three working groups, set up as part of the strategy work, have looked at new markets, new technology and new framework conditions that make it attractive to pursue opportunities abroad or in Norway. These groups, which represent oil spill response, algae and marine threats, ocean plastic and marine pollution, have held two workshops. As a result, almost 30 collaboration project opportunities have been identified.
– The members are fully committed, and all representatives serve on at least one working group – some on all three. Development and collaboration projects are what attract the members’ interest the most, and with such a vast number of excellent proposals we have to prioritise, says Lars Kleppe who heads the strategy work together with Langeland and Geir Christian Helgesen, Chairman of NOSCA Clean Oceans.
To the next level
For the cluster to be in a position to support its members in the facilitation and execution of these projects, an expansion of resources is required. Targeted efforts have thus been made to expand the membership base, and already this year the cluster will apply to move to the next level in the innovation cluster programme.
– We are aware that this is very soon, and that making the grade is not easy, but there is no time to lose if we are to be in a position to meet the requirements and expectations of tomorrow, says Kleppe.
New members in the boardroom
During the first year as an Arena cluster, new members have brought new capabilities that have broadened the cluster’s professional horizon. Geir Christian Helgesen is now chairing a Board of Directors that has grown from six to eight people.
– The members’ ambitions are far greater than envisaged at start-up, and we have thus expanded from six to eight board members to better reflect the competencies of the cluster, says Helgesen.
Exceeded all expectations
In the boardroom there is now knowledge and experience from research, entrepreneurial activity, communication and public relations, as well as strong international industrial expertise.
– We are a voluntary organisation, and board positions are not remunerated. Nevertheless, there are many who are prepared to help bring about a change for our members, explore new business opportunities, and transfer knowledge and experience from oil spill response to other exciting markets. The work thus far has without doubt exceeded all expectations, and now is the time to step up to the next level, says Helgesen.
Board of Directors:
Marketing and Communication Manager, Framo AS
Research Assistant, Senior Project Manager, SINTEF Ocean.
Head of Sales, Maritime Robotics AS.
Environmental Consultant, Norbit Aptomar AS
Founder of SpillTech AS.
Environmental Activist, Technocrat, Relations Builder and Industrial Manager, Ogoori.
Senior Sales Manager – Oil Spill Response, NorLense AS
Chief Scientist – Marine Ecology, Research Director, NORCE
Deputy Board Member:
Head of external relations, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences