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Scaling Up Sustainable Solutions for the Blue Economy

GCE Ocean Technology is partner in the EU funded Atlantic Smart Ports Blue Acceleration Network (AspBAN) project, that aims to support European start-ups in the ocean industries with accelerating and scaling up sustainable solutions for the blue economy.

During the two-year long project, the project partners aim to establish a European network of accelerator services and support for start-ups in the ocean industries and support Atlantic ports to act as ecosystems to foster innovation on the blue economy.

The AspBAN project aims to deploy a representative and diverse open innovation, acceleration and investment ecosystem/network with partners from Portugal, Spain, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Canada and USA.

Strategic Partners

In addition to GCE Ocean Technology, three Norwegian ports are involved as strategic partners in the project: the Bergen Port Control, Port of Karmsund and Port of Hadsel.

–Being a strategic partner in this project gives us a unique opportunity to tap into a pool of ideas and innovative solutions that can benefit our future work in the Port of Bergen, says Johnny Breivik, CEO of Bergen Port Control.

Johnny Breivik, CEO of Bergen Port Control. Photo by Bergen Port Control

Building on Experience from our Scale Up Programme

GCE Ocean Technology will lead the work package on Acceleration Services for Blue Innovation Cluster Startups, SMEs and Ports, using our experience from the Scale up programme that has run for three years.

– We have the innovative ecosystem that can contribute to the development of this blue accelerator scheme, says Owe Hagesæther (photo), CEO of GCE Ocean Technology and elaborates: – Moreover, our experience from activities within our business development programmes such as 100ScaleUPs is of great value when we participate in the AspBAN project. Being part of AspBAN will in turn improve the development of our existing programmes, explains Hagesæther.

Owe Hagesæther, CEO of
GCE Ocean Technology

Pool of Startups

The AspBAN project aims to have a final pool of 30 innovative startup solutions developed as pilots in 30 Atlantic ports, attracting 6M€ in direct private investment, mobilizing 4,5 billion€ of potential private investment and making a reduction of at least 100.000 tons of CO2 emissions in the operations of the 30 ports.

Karianne Kojen Andersen, EU Advisor at
GCE Ocean Technology.

– The cluster's participation in AspBAN will hopefully lead to exciting opportunities for our cluster members and partners, and the international network of players in the ocean industry is valuable to us when we work on new innovation projects. We look forward to launching the project in April 2021, says Karianne Kojen Andersen, EU Advisor at GCE Ocean Technology.

Contact Information

Karianne Kojen Andersen

Innovation Manager

Karianne Kojen Andersen


As part of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) call on “Cross-sectoral development of innovative port clusters in the Atlantic: Developing a blue accelerator scheme for Atlantic ports” (EMFF-APC-2020 call), the AspBAN project has been selected by the European Commission to put in place an acceleration services platform for EU Atlantic Ports.

AspBAN will support Atlantic Ports to act as ecosystems to foster innovation in the blue economy, thus diversifying their business models and revenue sources.

The project is a 2-year project led by the collaborative innovation consultancy Beta-I and will involve 13 partners.

This project will support implementation of Pillar I of the revised Atlantic Action Plan and will also connect partners in the European Economic Area, transatlantic and other relevant EU and non-EU maritime basins, notably through its network of 123 strategic partners.