The ELBE Alliance met with several mayors from municipalities in Agder last week. Left-right: Lukaz Dabrowski (Poland), Even Tronstad Sagebakken (Mayor of Lindesnes), Leif Gunnar Sandvik (Rina Marine), Ander Gonzales (Spain), Immanuel Campano (Saitec Offshore Technology), Miet Verhamme (Belgium), Mathias Bernander (Agder County), Isabelle-Louise Aabel (GCE NODE), Jan Kristensen (Mayor of Lyngdal), Niel McIntosh (AREG), Rune Klausen (Fremtidens Havvind), Jan Oddvar Skisland (Mayor of Kristiansand), Tom Fidjeland (GCE NODE), and Arnt Abrahamsen (Mayor of Farsund).

Seven of Europe’s top clusters for blue energy gathered in Kristiansand last week.

The ELBE Alliance, which GCE NODE is part of, aims to contribute positioning Europe as the world technological and industrial leader in Blue Energy, with a special focus on offshore wind, wave and tidal energy.

Participants include Cluster Energia (Spain), Offshore Wäst/ RISE (Sweden), Pole Mere Mediterranée (France), Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (Scotland), Blauwe Cluster (Belgium), Energy Cluster Denmark (Denmark), and GCE NODE (Norway).

ELBE Alliance offers new opportunities to SMEs in offshore energy to share technology, establish alliances and create new business models across different sectors. The main goal is to support and reinforce internationalization of European SMEs and other relevant stakeholders in selected Blue Energy markets in North America and Asia.

The meeting in Kristiansand was a kick-off for the new EUR 1.4 million, 3-year project which the ELBE Alliance received funding for by the EU program COSME earlier this year.

The project is structured in five work packages; Coordination, Monitoring & Communication, Network & Preparation, Innovate, Train & Adopt, and Go International. GCE NODE heads Work Package 4, which is training of SMEs in business development tools.

While in Kristiansand, the ELBE representatives met with government officials and business leaders, primarily focused on offshore wind.

“We had good talks, made relevant connections and will meet again in Hamburg to continue discussions this week,” says Aabel.