Organizers of the New Blue Industries seminar in Kristiansand Thursday. Left-right: Stig Marthinsen (South Norway European Office), Rita Schage (Innovation Norway), Erlend Moksness (Pre-project Manager), Marianne Engvoll (GCE NODE) and Liv Birkeland (Innakva Cluster).

Ocean-based jobs in the Agder region is expected to grow by several thousand by 2030.

“This illustrates the enormous potential in both mature and emerging ocean industries. Oil and gas and maritime sectors are still the backbone of the blue industries in Agder, but we also expect growth in other ocean-based sectors, such as offshore wind, aquaculture, subsea mining, geothermal energy and carbon capture, storage and utilization,” says Marianne Engvoll, RD&I Manager at GCE NODE.

She references a Menon Economics report on the development and potential in ocean industries in Southern Norway. Today, the blue sector in Agder employs 13,000 people and accounts for 25 per cent of value creation in the region. The sector is expected to grow significantly.

“We have developed a well-functioning ecosystem for blue growth. Competence and technology from the oil and gas industry is being transferred to new industries and serves as a base for future development of the region’s business sector. We are well situated and will continue to develop our relationship with the ocean, in order to maintain a leading global position in ocean technologies, and remain an important region for export of ocean technology and solutions,” says Engvoll.

GCE NODE participates in several ocean research projects, including the pre-project “Platform for New Blue Industries”, with partners South Norway European Office and Innakva Cluster. Thursday, this Innovation Norway funded pre-project organized a seminar in Kristiansand, as a summary and invitation to find a path going forward with an extended project.

“Norway is an ocean-based nation with an offshore area that is seven times larger than our onshore area. This provides huge opportunities for blue growth,” says Engvoll.

At the seminar, several companies presented their plans for capturing more of the emerging markets opportunities, especially within offshore wind and aquaculture.

Anne Lene Dale, CEO of GCE NODE, opened the seminar at Abra Havn in Kristiansand.