SINTEF: A collaboration that creates synergies
– Norway can be at the forefront if we utilize synergy effects from aquaculture, offshore wind and other ocean industries.
This is stated by Lars Magne Nonås, Research Manager at SINTEF Ocean, who is a partner in GCE Ocean Technology.
Lars Magne Nonås
A multitude of opportunities
The OECD estimates that the ocean-based industries can double their contribution to the global economy by 2030. But this requires that the resources are used in a sustainable way, and that one sees the ocean in a holistic perspective.
– This is where GCE Ocean Technology can play a central role with many members from a wide spectrum, as well as different insights and special expertise, says Nonås.
He points out that Trondheim has its strength in technology with NTNU and SINTEF, while the Bergen region has a lot of industry.
– This provides great potential for interaction. We are ready to help industry players facing various challenges.
Not a competitor
SINTEF Ocean is one of six institutes in SINTEF, following a merger in 2017 between the former departments for fisheries/aquaculture and marine technology.
The institute conducts research on most things to do with the ocean and currently has almost 400 employees. Lars Magne Nonås is based at Høyteknologisenteret in Bergen, while the main office is in Trondheim.
He emphasizes that SINTEF Ocean must not be perceived as a competitor to NORCE or other recognized research environments in Western Norway.
– Norway is too small to be competing between the regions. We would like a collaboration that generates new ideas, and this is an important reason why we joined the cluster.
National knowledge centre
SINTEF is now, together with NTNU, in the process of realizing the The Norwegian Ocean Technology Centre in Trondheim, one of the world's most advanced marine research and teaching facilities.
The old ship model tank and the ocean pool will be replaced with two new indoor pools, and there will also be several new test areas at sea.
– This will become a national knowledge centre for ocean space technology, with world-leading laboratories. Among other things, we will work on the development and improvement of ship structures, offshore wind, fish cages, floating solar power plants and underwater robotics.
The government has allocated NOK 6.9 billion to the centre, which is one of Norway's largest investments of its kind.
– We can test most marine constructions and operations, as well as logistics and transport in the ocean. It could be a fish cage, wind turbine, a ship, a floating bridge or a platform. What can they withstand from movements in the ocean? We figure this out with the help of scaled-down models that are tested in pools under realistic conditions, explains Nonås.
Considerable reduction in emissions
Such an investment will also be of great importance in the battle of reducing Norway's climate emissions.
The ambition is a decrease of 55 per cent compared to the 1990 level, where oil and gas production will be central with around 25 per cent of the domestic greenhouse gas emissions.
– In order to cut emissions, electrification is required, which in turn requires more production of renewable energy. Here, GCE Ocean Technology has great potential, especially regarding offshore wind, which is a relatively new, but growing industry. And the next thing could be solar cells at sea, says Nonås.
He looks forward to the new centre being completed in 2028.
– But we are by no means dormant in the meantime. We work continuously to secure Norway's position as a leading ocean nation and are contributing to the green transition in the Norwegian ocean industries.
SINTEF is one of 18 partners from industry, R&D, academia and public bodies, which has recently signed a new 5-year agreement with GCE Ocean Technology.
The partners in the cluster are the leading force, and the backbone of the cluster's strategic work.
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Here, valuable knowledge is developed and shared between the cluster's +150 partners, members and collaborators.