After two hectic days at ONS in Stavanger, Backer sums up the experience, which included meetings with more than 20 GCE NODE companies and exploration of one of the largest offshore energy events.
“A very professional event with lots of people and great energy. I truly enjoyed it,” says Backer, who was part of a trip organized by GCE NODE for Agder politicians, economic development directors, and more.
What used to be an oil and gas conference and exhibition, has rightfully been rebranded as an energy conference and exhibition. Backer picked up on that, and so did Arne Thomassen, Mayor of Agder County.
“It is striking how ONS has developed to include other forms of energy than oil and gas. Although we must rely on the oil and gas industry for some time, it is nice to see that several Agder companies develop new technology which creates new opportunities,” says Thomassen.
He is, however, concerned with the availability of competence and skilled workers. As is Terje Øydne Pettersen, Member of the Kristiansand City Council.
“All the major companies voice the same concern. They have a hard time finding enough people to do all the work that lays ahead. Going forward, we need to educate more people, include more people in the workforce, and promote these industries,” says Pettersen.
Liv Øyulvstad, Business Manager at Kvinesdal Municipality, found the ONS visit useful.
“It is fantastic to see the competence level in the companies in our region, and how this competence is being transferred from oil and gas to the renewable sector,” says Øyulvstad.
Her colleague in Grimstad Municipality, Bodil Slettebø, agrees:
“I am very proud of our region and the Agder companies we met at ONS. They are frontrunners in both old and new industries,” says Slettebø.