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A Planet Positive Mindset

Bernt Skeie, CEO of Clara Venture Labs.
Bernt Skeie, CEO of Clara Venture Labs.

A year has passed since Bernt Skeie, CEO of Clara Venture Labs was asked to meet with Kjell Inge Røkke and Øyvind Eriksen of Aker to present Prototech through a one-pager. Now we all know the outcome of that meeting.

Aker has planted their flag in the Ocean Capital Bergen through Clara Venture Labs which Aker intends to use as its platform to develop breakthrough technologies and companies within industrial technology and materials.

The idea behind Clara is to give great minds the opportunity to solve the major challenges of our time – it is not about taking less risk, but taking more risk, according to Skeie.

Being Involved in Something Big

Clara’s concept is a planet positive strategy with the ambition to solve the big questions where they envision technology an enabling part of the solution. Moreover, to create the best workplace for their employees:

– When you have several interesting ideas running in parallel, our employees will be able to make full use of their skillsets in different cases at different stages, to further develop themselves and realise their full potential while being involved in something big, says Skeie who are now looking for key personnel with commercial competence to reach their ambitions.

We are looking for the breakthrough technologies – to develop industrial technology unicorns

Kill the Experiment

Prototech has always looked for commercial applications for their technology and GCE Ocean Technology played a role in the early development of Clara’s CHEOP concept.

– We applied for funding support from GCE Ocean Technology several years ago, to develop a concept that would replace offshore gas turbines together with Inventas, said Skeie.

GCE Ocean Technology (then NCE Subsea) gave 100.000, - NOK in pre-project funding for the project:

– We then gathered discipline leaders from Equinor and Shell for a 2-day “kill the experiment workshop”, during the Underwater Technology Conference, explains Skeie.

Equinor and Shell failed to kill the concept and instead joined the initiative.

– So what started with 100.000,- NOK in funding from GCE Ocean Technology became a 25 million NOK project called CHEOP (Clean Highly Efficiency Offshore Power), says Skeie.

Much of the basis for the high-temperature fuel cells that Prototech now demonstrate through several projects like SHIPFC, Clean Ammonia Power project and the CHEOP CC phase 2 project with Odfjell on LNG, derives from the technology that came out of this project funded by the cluster according to Skeie.

Inspiration to Innovation

50 participants tuned in when Clara Venture Labs, Additech and Inventas shared their experiences around green growth and innovation methodology during our webinar Inspiration to Innovation – held 15 December in collaboration with Ocean Innovation Norwegian Catapult Centre.

You are welcome to download the presentations from the webinar.

Contact Information

Jon O. Hellevang

R&D Manager

Jon O. Hellevang


Aker bought Prototech from the research institute NORCE this summer. Now it has changed name to Clara Venture Labs and is organised as a centre for industrial technology in the Aker system, with five new companies.

Prototech was started in 1988 as part of Christian Michelsen's Institute in Bergen, and has extensive experience in delivering technology for ocean, energy and space.

Read article in E24 (article in Norwegian).

Further Reading