A Thriving Cluster
Raising the level of ambition and deliveries through pinpointing signature projects and a revised business model were some of the themes discussed at our Partner Forum.
GCE Ocean Technology have 22 partners coming from the industry, academia and public agencies.
Partner Forum is an annual venue for the decision-makers from our partners, the main supporters of GCE Ocean Technology. The goal is to narrow down the most important drivers and premises for the industry and provide strategic direction to the cluster management.
Evaluation of the GCE Programme
After the first five years of operations (four for GCE Ocean Technology), Oxford Research, on assignment from Innovation Norway, have evaluated the Global Centers of Expertise programme.
The goal of the evalation has been to evaluate the overall performence of the GCE Clusters according to the programme, to decide the future development of the programme.
The evaluation concludes that the GCE programme is reccommended continued with certain adjustments for the next five year period.
Furthermore, the report confirms that the three GCE projects have delivered in accordance with the ambitions of the cluster programme and can show a great deal of goal achievement.
The GCE status has provided effects such as an increased pace of innovation, improved access to qualified workforce and specialised expertise, as well as improved visibility and attractiveness. Moreover, the clusters were major contributors to dampen the blow from the downturn in the oil price in 2014; nurturing the restructuring of the oil and gas industry with multiple activities like start-up and scale-up programmes to mention a few.
Owe Hagesæther, CEO of GCE Ocean Technology, started our Partnerforum with presenting this evaluation of the GCE Programme for the partners.
Future Business Models
Our cluster is 4-years in to the 10 year GCE programme period. The strategic direction changed sustansially when advancing from the NCE to the GCE level. The financing model also changed moving from NCE to the higher GCE level.
The Oxford Research Evaluation Report recommends a continuation of today's GCE clusters within today's financing scheme as mentioned, but with a strong call to the cluster to develop a strategy for a sustainable business model of the cluster when the GCE programme period ends.
There is therefore a need to evaluate different aspects of today's operating model and make adjustments to the strategy for the remaining GCE period with the purpose to raise the level of ambition and deliveries, safeguard quality, long-term and predictability beyond the GCE period.
Tove Ormevik from Aker BP had formed an excellent presentation about alternative business models for the cluster which was discussed.
Optimising Cluster Projects
There is a pervasive challenge in clusters about how to optimize project management within the cluster to get major players to take greater ownership / management and invest more resources in projects.
Gunnar Birkeland from UNITECH, started our workshop on this theme by suggesting increased focus on common industrial projects where the partners take a leading role and development of major cluster concepts through working groups.
Birkeland sits in the Offshore Wind Cluster and was part of establishing the NCE Maritime CleanTech cluster, so he draws on many years of experience within this and continued to contrast and compare good and lesser good features practised in clusters.
Birkeland commended GCE Ocean Technology’s work to support activities that provide our members with top- and bottomline results.
Birkeland’s presentation was a brilliant introduction to our workshop – where the partners provided input on candidates for concepts, programmes and projects that provide high industrial relevance as well as how we can continue to effectively build relationships and knowledge across stakeholders and companies.
The outcome of Partner Forum will be followed up and presented for the board of GCE Ocean Technology in December.