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What Happens With all the Good Ideas?

Workshop at cluster gathering at Solstrand. Photo by Roy Bjørge.
Workshop at cluster gathering at Solstrand. Photo by Roy Bjørge.

Every year, our partners, members, and collaborators bond over creating common project ideas at the Ocean Innovation Lab. But what becomes of these ideas once the brainstorming sessions conclude?

How do we go from lifting these ideas to actual concept? We had a chat with Jon Hellevang, R&D manager in GCE Ocean Technology about this.

Q: Why an Ocean Innovation Lab and how does it work?

At the Ocean Innovation Lab, the participants bond over discussions and shape common projects that can strengthen the clusters businesses. We invite partners, members and collaborators to take part. To set the scene, we start with some plenary presentations, followed by dialogue and workshops on joint challenges and possible solutions.

Q: What sort of challenges and solutions are we talking about?

Last year we discussed the challenge of phasing in high amounts of weather depending offshore wind into the energy system, how to reduce CO2 emissions from the petroleum sector, ways to increase the knowledge about the deep sea and programmes to help companies scale their business and succeed in the global market.

We received a total of 20 different project ideas.

Q: So how do you follow up all these ideas?

At the end of every Innovation Lab, we categorise all the ideas and align them with ongoing projects and new initiatives.

Using last year as an example; some of the project ideas fitted very well with the activities in our renewable energy resource group.

For instance, the VindVest project was initiated to explore the clusters comparative advantages and what is required in terms of skill enhancement and investments to become key players in the offshore wind industry.

Other ideas have been integrated into ongoing collaborative projects with organisations like Ocean Innovation Catapult Centre, Offshore Norway and the Norwegian forum for marine minerals.

All ideas are evaluated and followed up one way or the other and are very valuable as input to the cluster work moving forward.

Q: Could you give us examples of upcoming spin-off projects?

We are currently outlining plans for a Centres for Research-based Innovation (SFI) within deep sea exploration to increase knowledge about the deep sea environment and its resources.

We are also working to expand our course offerings based on valuable input from last year’s Ocean Innovation Lab.

So far, our efforts have helped the cluster secure 2.8 billion NOK in funding for RDI-project led by the cluster companies.

Q: What is this year’s topic at Ocean Innovation Lab?

This year, we will look at the life cycle aspects of the energy transition, how to reduces the cost of clean energy and identify the competence required for the twin: green and digital transition.

The first day will focus on joint challenges and possibilities, while we will work more specifically on solutions and joint projects on the second day.

Q: Whom should join this year’s event and why?

The Ocean Innovation Lab is great networking arena, where your will connect with existing and new customers and partners in an environment unlike regular business meetings.

You will gain new insights into industry trends and take part in shaping new joint projects.

The event brings together a mix of stakeholders and titles from entrepreneurs, corporates, universities, research- and public institutions and capital with position like managers, engineers, CTOs, business developers, etc.

Previous events have received very good feedback, so join us 7-8 May and experience it for yourselves!


Learn how to become a member in GCE Ocean Technology.

Contact Information

Jon O. Hellevang

R&D Manager

Jon O. Hellevang

Kjersti Boge Christensen

Communication Manager

Kjersti Boge Christensen

Join Us

We invite partners, members and collaborators of GCE Ocean Technology to join us at this year's Ocean Innovation Lab near Bergen.

This is an annual cluster gathering, where we discuss and shape upcoming collaboration projects to strengthen your business.

There will be plenary presentation to set the scene followed by workshop and dialogue, not to forget plenty of time for networking.

Looking forward to seeing you at Solstrand near Bergen lunch-to-lunch 7-8 May for this year’s Ocean Innovation Lab.