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Application for Arena Marine Minerals

A consortium of 26 leading Norwegian companies, universities, research institutes, innovation- and a catapult-centre have joined forces in an Arena Marine Minerals cluster.

The cluster has applied for Arena status with the Norwegian Innovation Clusters programme, and the objective is to gather Norwegian actors to strengthen the knowledge and establish solutions and collaborations which can form the basis for marine minerals as a sustainable new ocean industry.

The cluster will focus on three main topics, where environment and sustainability will form the basis for all activities:

  • Competence: Develop and share competence
  • Innovation: Establish new innovation projects to increase our understanding of the deep sea environment, its resources and mitigation of possible negative impact
  • From seabed to batteries: Integrated value chains and life cycle assessments

Accelerating our Knowledge Gathering

A key part of the cluster is joining forces to accelerate the knowledge gathering and understanding of the deep-sea environment, its ecosystem and resources.

To meet future EU taxonomy and sustainability goals we need to show that future mining can be done without doing significant harm. Our hypothesis is that marine minerals will come with a smaller environmental and climate footprint than land-based mining.

– While some call for a moratorium of the deep sea until we know more, we believe that a joint effort from the public, industry, research institutes and universities will be the best way forward.

The industry has very much to offer when it comes to speeding up deep sea research and innovation. A moratorium is likely to drastically slow down our joint efforts to explore, understand and utilize deep sea resources in a sustainable way, says Jon Hellevang R&D Manager GCE Ocean Technology.

Minerals are key for the Energy Transition

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has recently released the report “The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions”.

Executive Director of the IEA, Fatih Birol, said “the data shows a looming mismatch between the world’s strengthened climate ambitions and the availability of critical minerals that are essential to realise those ambitions”.

Four times as much minerals as today is needed in a sustainable development scenario by 2040, and six times to reach net-zero by 2050. The growth if projected far higher for key minerals in the energy transition.

Many highlight recycling and a circular economy, as the solutions to sustainability. However, the transition to renewable energy and electric transportation requires access to new mineral resources. Most extracted mineral resources are currently tied up in existing infrastructure and equipment. Even 100% end of life recycling would be far from enough to meet the growing demand required by the rapid energy transition set out to meet the Paris agreement.

Bridge the Gap

We believe marine minerals will be important to bridge the gap into a circular management of critical resources.

About 70 precent of Norway’s exports comes from the ocean industries. A key challenge to Norway’s future success, highlighted in the Norwegian Ocean Strategy, is our ability to develop existing and create new ocean industries, as the exports from oil and gas is expected to decline in the coming decades.

Norway has a unique opportunity to take a leading role within marine minerals. We have resources in our own water with potential for a home market combined with world-class knowledge, technology and management of ocean resources.

GCE Ocean Technology will continue to be a driving force in the transition into new and growing ocean industries to develop new export-oriented jobs and sustainable value creation.

Open to New Members

The Arena Marine Minerals cluster will be hosted by GCE Ocean Technology and we expect feedback on the evaluation of the Arena application from the Norwegian Innovation Cluster medio November.

The following companies and organisation are supporting the initiative with intention to join as members:

  • Aanderaa Data Instruments
  • Adepth Minerals
  • Aker Solutions
  • Argus Remote Systems
  • Atlantic Geodrill
  • CGG
  • Corvus Energy
  • Deep Ocean
  • DOF Subsea
  • Green Minerals
  • Kongsberg Maritime
  • Loke Marine Minerals
  • MinerAll
  • Norsk olje og gass
  • NTNU
  • NUI
  • Ocean Innovation Norwegian Catapult Centre
  • OneSubsea
  • PGS
  • TechnipFMC
  • Transmark Subsea
  • Universitetet i Bergen (UiB)
  • Universitetet i Stavanger (UiS)
  • VIS – Vestlandets Innovasjonsselskap

The cluster will be open to new members as we go forward.

Contact Information

Jon O. Hellevang

R&D Manager

Jon O. Hellevang

Norwegian Innovation Clusters is a government supported cluster programme, which aims to increase value creation through collaborative development. Key objective are;

  • Trigger and enhance collaborative development activities in clusters.
  • Increase cluster dynamics and attractiveness.
  • Increase company's innovation and competitiveness.