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Clusters – A Very Efficient tool

Students met employees in the “blue” industries at our event in 2019. Photo by Cecilie Bannow.

The report from the evaluation of the industry-oriented public funding schemes and organisations is now available. It points out that the cluster programme and collaboration projects are highly relevant and cost-efficient tools.

GCE Ocean Technology is very positive towards the evaluations mission to sought out how the industry-oriented policy instrument can facilitate the greatest possible value creation and profitable workplaces within a sustainable framework.

Guide to Public Funding

The report has also looked at the possibility to establish a common digital portal to make it easier to navigate through the multitude of public funding schemes.

In the absence of such a tool, as of yet; GCE Ocean Technology has developed a Guide to Public funding to support our members with identifying and applying for the most relevant funding schemes. Hopefully this navigation will be simpler in the future.

Partners and members can get this guide, free of charge, by sending an e-mail to

Increased role for Clusters

The report states that «Indirect support for companies and knowledge players in cluster projects and other interaction projects, are highly relevant and cost-effective instruments as they stimulate collaboration in and between value chains and link business and research / education players together, and through it contribute to innovation collaboration, knowledge dissemination, competence supply and internationalisation opportunities. We therefore recommend that collaboration tools be given higher priority in the policy instrument.»

The report states that clusters and collaboration tools should be given greater responsibility and a clearer role as mobilising players for both export consulting and export financing in the SME segment. «This should include the consolidation of qualified export advice, better utilisation of clusters and networks for export mobilization and a thorough review and prioritization of foreign operations to improve focus and efficiency in this important and costly part of the export-oriented policy instrument. »

The consultants advise that channelling export advice through clusters and networks will increase the impact area in an efficient and flexible way. “This can also be an effective information and market channel for export financing solutions and guarantee products”, they claim.

High on our Agenda

The report emphasizes that scaling up businesses with high potential is one of the most important and demanding tasks. Scale-up projects are already high on our agenda and we are currently running our second Scale-up Programme in collaboration with the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, VIS and the Norwegian Business School (BI). Next week this year’s participants will proceed with the one-week module at MIT in Boston.

Moreover, GCE Ocean Technology has been active in supporting the internationalisation of companies. The report claims that collaboration projects are particularly well-suited as a tool for contributing to the internationalisation of SMEs, both because collaboration enables the use of economies of scale in internationalisation work and because « locomotive customers » can bring their suppliers into their markets.

The report recommends that internationalisation and exports be given higher priority in the means of interaction, especially in the cluster programmes, by including internationalisation in the programme's objectives and by increasing the project's financial framework.

The Next Step

The report is an important knowledge base that the government will use in the further development of the policy instrument, but it will be supplemented with other knowledge and will go through a comprehensive consultation round. Implementation will happen as part of the state budget for 2021.

The government has not concluded on the many recommendations. GCE Ocean Technology will review the report in more detail and plan to provide a joint input from the cluster within 20 December 2019. Please contact us if you have any input to the report you like us to bring forward.

Download full report.


Contact Information

Owe Hagesæther

Chief Executive Officer

Owe Hagesæther

The Report

The evaluation has been headed by out cluster member Deloitte, with assistance from Menon Economics and Oxford Research.

The report has been commissioned by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. The minister, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen has earlier said that this is one of his most important political projects.

We have currently about 180 different support schemes managed by 14 ministries and 18 different national actors. Two out of five report that they need assistance to apply and about one of five pay to get such assistance.