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Business after Covid-19

image of Johan Sverdrup
Illustration: Equinor Johan Sverdrup, phase 2

What future are Norwegian businesses facing after Covid-19, in six months, a year or five years from now – will we see a speedy recovery or are we headed for a long convalescence.

The double blow of the drop in the oil prices and the corona pandemic, may result in the disappearance of 55.000 jobs in four vital exporting industries according to a survey performed by Menon which was completed 23. March.

On assignment from Eksportkreditt, Menon has calculated the effect of the corona crisis for the Norwegian export industry, concentrating the analysis on the industries other than oil and gas which are the largest: the maritime industry and offshore supplier industry, process industry and seafood- and tourism industry

Moreover, the report outlines the domino effect that the crisis will have on society in the long run, in the form of long-term lower oil price expectations among other things .

Read full report from Menon Economics (in Norwegian)

A New Global Recession

No one knows the full repercussions of Covid-19, but they will unabatedly unfold in the months and years to come. However, I think it is safe to predict that the world is facing a new temporary or longer recession that in many ways will disrupt our lives in the years to come.

The last recession hit Norway with full force in 2008 in the form of the financial crisis that sent the world in to the biggest economic downturn since the 1930’s.

The crisis itself “only” lasted for about a year before the markets began recovering, but several countries struggled with the backlash in the following years, as we can only assume will also be the aftermath of the corona pandemic.

Following the financial crisis, our cluster was hit hard by the oil price recession in 2014 – subsequently, our partners and members changed their ways in a meritorious way and recovered from the crisis stronger and fitter in many ways and with more cutting edge technology and competence. This, in turn, has been transferred to many other industries.

Again, we see a historical drop in oil prices which is a crisis all on its own for the oil and gas industry. However, a joint industry are now joining forces to propose changes in the Norwegian tax regime, with the goal to intensify and create motivation for increased activity on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Crossover Effects from the Crisis

For years, we have initiated projects to trigger technology transfer from the oil and gas industry to other industries and throughout this crisis, it has been extremely uplifting to see the shift of focus and crossover collaborations that has emerged between industries, with the common goal to assisting the health industry.

Several members like Fieldmade , Inventas and TechnipFMC have used their 3D printers to produce visors. Fourphase and IMR have donated valuable infection control gear, while a thousand emergency respirators will be produced as a result of the multidisciplinary effort between Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt (FFI), our member, Servi Group and Lærdal Medical.

Perhaps the crisis has broken down more barriers for future cross-industry collaborations and created future knowledge bridges yielding new innovations causing businesses to recover faster? Only time will tell.

Speedy Recovery

Time is of the essence and we need to move ideas to market even faster during a crisis – which is also where the Norwegian Catapult centres can play a crucial part in the recovery period, and for our cluster especially the Ocean Innovation Norwegian Catapult Centre.

As we are currently helping our cluster in the crisis, we are simultaneously preparing for the future and life after Covid-19 – forming constellations, funding aid and cluster projects that will help the cluster recover as fast as possible.

We are hopeful that our input and requests to the Norwegian government and to Innovation Norway have been heard and that the clusters will be used as a tool to initiate the right future initiatives for the ocean industries.

We are also offering helpful webinars and digital conferences and have established an overview of all Covid-19 measures being performed within and outside the cluster.

We will do our part to help and guide our partners and members throughout and after this crisis – meanwhile, please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist you.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy Easter break.

Contact Information

Owe Hagesæther

Chief Executive Officer

Owe Hagesæther


GCE Ocean Technology are here to help our members in this precarious situation with Covid-19.

Read our guide of helpful measures offered from inside and outside of the cluster.

Read more