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Vestland County Council Boosts its support to GCE Ocean Technology

Bård Sandal (Vestland County Council) and Owe Hagesæther (GCE Ocean Technology), discussing the Blue Quantum Leap.

Vestland County Council is enforcing their partnership with GCE Ocean Technology by increasing annual funding from NOK 100,000 to NOK 600,000 over the next three years.

The increased financing signals that GCE Ocean Technology is an important tool for Vestland to achieve its goals in the energy transition.

– It empowers the cluster to enhance our projects and programmes, thereby providing momentum to our partners and members in the ocean industries, says Owe Hagesæther, CEO in GCE Ocean Technology.

Present Where Innovation Lives

Vestland County Council has already been a key supporter in our current efforts to develop a world-leading ocean-based value chain in Norway through the Blue Quantum Leap.

Moreover, with funding the VindVest project where we, along with key stakeholders in the region explore the comparative advantages Vestland possess and what is required in terms of skill enhancement and investments to become key players in the offshore wind industry.

Present Where Progress is Made

– Our events are where people meet, knowledge is shared, and progress is made, and now we can do even more with increased financing, says Owe Hagesæther from GCE Ocean Technology.

At the upcoming One Ocean Week, Green region Vestland, in collaboration with amongst other GCE Ocean Technology, invites you to explore the potential of utilizing technology, experience, and expertise in the systems industry to succeed with creating new and growing emergence green value chains.

The systems industry in Vestland is a world leader, employing almost 12,000 people with an average value creation of over 3 MNOK per employee. This expertise is a competitive advantage for the entire Vestland region and is crucial for Norway to achieve its climate and export goals.

– As oil and gas activity declines, we must use the expertise here in the west to meet the ongoing transition, says Sølve Sondbø, section leader for Green Business Infrastructure in Vestland County Council.

– We aim for green business growth and reducing emissions while increasing exports. Therefore, we must leverage our expertise and all we have learned over the years. The experience gained from the petroleum industry gives Vestland a competitive edge in the green transition.

Why Increased Support is Important

The county council has supported GCE Ocean Technology since 2006, viewing the cluster as a valuable asset for creating green value. This boost in funding is part of a broader effort to help the region achieve its green future goals.

– With this financial boost, we can expect to see more innovation and development within ocean technology in Vestland. This is excellent news for the ocean industry, says Owe Hagesæther.

Contact Information

Owe Hagesæther

Chief Executive Officer

Owe Hagesæther


Vestland County Council was established on 1 January 2020, and consists of the former counties of Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane.

The county has approx. 640,000 inhabitants and is Norway’s largest export county, with more than 230 billion in export excluding oil and gas.

It has 43 municipalities and all have coastlines.