“I am fueled by new opportunities and action!” says Torstein Bringa, CEO of Future Production.

“After a few quiet years, the maritime and oil and gas industries are picking up. Also, the energy transition provides new opportunities for a tech company like ours,” says Bringa.

The 62-year-old is a veteran in the oil and gas supplier industry. Today, the former CEO of Cameron Sense, one of the major companies in the GCE NODE cluster, head some 30+ engineers and specialists who develop and design advanced offshore equipment for Future Production.

“It is incredibly rewarding to work with a team of employees who are so technically skilled and know much more about industrial design than I do. My contribution is primarily experience. I have been involved in most aspects of this business, and have a pretty good overview,” says Bringa.

COUNTING ATOMS
Actually, it is a bit coincidental that Bringa ended up in the offshore industry. After graduating from Kristiansand Cathedral School in the spring of 1978, he went on to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim where he studied theoretical physics.

“It was a quite narrow topic, which could easily lead to a long life as a researcher in a secluded laboratory. At the same time, great opportunities opened in the Norwegian petroleum industry. So instead of counting atoms, I transferred to the petroleum class,” says Bringa.

There have been no regrets. After graduating, Bringa went straight to work for the Bjarne Skeie company NRC, which had specialized in designing state-of-the-art oil rigs. Optimism in the oil industry seemed higher than the oil rig towers in the North Sea.

“It was like Klondyke, that was the atmosphere! NRC had ambitions to be at the forefront technologically and was among the first in the industry to use 3D CAD as a tool in rig design. We invested half our annual turnover in computers,” Bringa says.

CEO OF CAMERON SENSE
The oil industry was an exciting place for a young engineer from Agder. In the late 1990s, Bringa found himself working for Maritime Tentech in Japan, where he was involved in developing and delivering the floating production platform (FPSO) Åsgard, which is still in operation for Equinor in the North Sea.

“I stayed in Japan for a couple of years. Getting familiar with Japanese business, culture and people was a memorable experience and one of the highlights of my career.”

In the 2000s, Bringa took part in a new boom in the offshore industry, as an employee of Aker MH. From 1998 and in the first years of the new millennium, times were turbulent. Aker MH had been very successful with their Ramrig concept, but underestimated the workload associated with delivering the projects. Assignments piled up and deliveries were delayed.

“We underestimated the complexity of the tasks. Times were tough with great pressure put on the employees,” Bringa recalls.

After five years (2007-2012) with Mosvold Shipping, building drilling rigs and offshore vessels on speculation, Bringa accepted a management job in the American-owned oil service major Cameron International. Cameron shortly after acquired TTS Drilling Systems, with the ambition to challenge National Oilwell Varco and Aker MH as a supplier of complete drilling packages.

“I was employed as Vice President Business Development for the Cameron drilling systems division but agreed to be CEO for Cameron Sense for a transitional period of almost a year. However, my preference was to work with business development in the Cameron Drilling Division, and after the transitional CEO period I went back to this position,” says Bringa.

ENTERING RENEWABLES
For the past eight years, Bringa has been CEO of Future Production, which during his time has grown from 10 to 30+ employees. The company delivers tailor-made products for handling and lifting equipment on drilling platforms. In times of major restructuring and demands for innovation in the industry, Bringa sees changes and opportunities.

“Major changes are underway, and we expect the oil and gas market to improve significantly going forward. At the same time a transition to new and less carbon emitting energy sources are gaining momentum. This represents an opportunity to find new markets for our expertise. Oil and gas related projects are expected to remain our most important business segment for many years to come, but the importance of renewable energy production will increase,” says Bringa.

He is confident that Future Production will be awarded its first major contract from the renewable energy industry in the very near future.

“The supplier industry in our region has proven that it is globally competitive and has great potential to assert itself in related markets such as offshore wind, mineral extraction on the seabed and the offshore aquaculture industry,” says Bringa.

A year ago, he was elected as member of the GCE NODE Board of Directors. Bringa brings tons of experience to the cluster. He thinks the cluster plays an important role in Agder.

“I am impressed by the position GCE NODE has achieved over the years. It has become an important meeting point for the participants, and an arena for knowledge-sharing and cooperation. I find it stimulating to work together with colleagues and competitors to find new business opportunities in the green transition,” says Torstein Bringa.

Located in different countries, but still neighbors. Companies from Southern Norway and Northern Denmark met in Kristiansand to talk business.

Southern Norway and Northern Denmark are separated only by a body of water called Skagerrak, which commercial ferries navigate in approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. Based on the proximity and a population that frequently makes the voyage to the other side, a joint Norwegian-Danish initiative was taken to explore how the business sectors in these regions may work together.

Skagerrak Business Summit is arranged annually, alternating between venues in Norway and Denmark. The 2022 summit addressed topics such as Offshore Wind, Alternative Fuel, Autonomy and AI, Carbon Capture, and Emission-Reducing Technology. Each topic was presented by one Danish and one Norwegian presenter.

“Skagerrak Business Summit opens doors which we normally would not have knocked. During a matchmaking session, we had three good meetings with other companies, and we look forward to a continued dialogue with all of them,” says Roy Jørgensen, CEO of Norwegian company Telaris.

One of the meetings was with Danish company Safevent and its CEO Rene Hvidkær.

“I did not ask for the meeting with Telaris and I never considered asking to meet them. However, I am glad that I did meet Telaris. It is my experience that I always learn something new during such matchmaking sessions. That was the case four years ago at Skagerrak Business Summit, and that was also the case today,” says Hvidkær.

Norwegian Bjørn-Tore Lenes, CEO of Origo Solutions, met with Danish Mona Marthalina Kjærgård of Marthalina Academy.

“We had a good talk and touched on a variety of themes. Mona shared some insights that were useful,” says Lenes.

More than 100 people from Northern Denmark and Southern Norway met in Kristiansand Thursday. Next year’s event will be in Denmark.

Norwegian Bjørn-Tore Lenes, CEO of Origo Solutions, met with Danish Mona Marthalina Kjærgård of Marthalina Academy.
Norwegian and Danish companies met in Kristiansand Thursday to talk business. Skagerrak Business Summit gathered more than 100 people.
Christoffer Jørgenvåg, CCO at Ocean Infinity gave a presentation on Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence at Skagerrak Business Summit.

A network of subsea wireless, smart sensors in the ocean could enable fact-based and sustainable management of ocean resources, as well as industrial equipment and structures.

GCE NODE is a partner in SFI Smart Ocean, a center for research-based innovation, hosted by the Department of Physics and Technology at the University of Bergen. SFI Smart Ocean creates a wireless, smart, low-powered sensor network extracting data which will provide valuable input to governmental regulators, the ocean industries, and scientists working on value creation, environmental questions, and climate changes.

“We are part of this center to provide dissemination of research result. However, in this early stage of this SFI we are highly involved in ensuring alignment of requested use cases. This is done in close contact with the industry to help with the offshore digitalization of existing markets and during the green transition” says Christian von der Ohe, RD&I Manager at GCE NODE.

For ocean industry to co-exist with nature in a secure and sustainable way, data and facts are needed. Today, this is done through numerous measurements in the ocean, coastal areas, and fjords, from ships, buoys and radio-controlled or autonomous vehicles. There is, however, a demand for real time measurements and long-term data collection, needed to do systematic monitoring of important parameters of critical underwater locations over time.

41 people from SFI Smart Ocean gathered in Bekkjarvik, Norway recently to discuss use-cases and the pilot-demonstrators. The gathering included a visit to IMR’s Research Station at Austevoll. This provided firsthand knowledge of the facility, and ideas and inspiration for how to utilize the station when designing a main pilot-demonstrator.

During a workshop input was given from end-users to the different work packages. This will greatly help in focusing the future work and ensure value for the ocean industries. Bjarte Fagerås (GCE Ocean Technology), Christian von der Ohe (GCE NODE), Kristian Blom (NCE Seafood Innovation/Aquacloud) and Jon Hellevang (GCE Ocean Technology) provided insight into oil&gas, offshore wind, aquaculture, and marine minerals.

SFI Smart Ocean research partners include the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, NORCE, NERSC and Havforskningsinstituttet. Industry cluster GCE NODE and GCE Ocean Technology are among the user partners.

The next workshop is scheduled for October. “We appreciate further input from the industry,” says von der Ohe.

41 people connected to SFI Smart Ocean met on the Norwegian west coast.