The collaboration agreement was signed by Mitsuyuki Unno (Executive Director, The Nippon Foundation), Anne-Grete Ellingsen (CEO of GCE NODE) and Thor Arne Håverstad (NORCE) at ONS in Stavanger Thursday August 30.

GCE NODE, NORCE Norwegian Research Institute and Japanese Nippon Foundation have signed an agreement to cooperate on research, development and innovation.

The signature ceremony was conducted today at GCE NODE’s stand at ONS, the oil expo in Stavanger, in the presence of the Japanese Ambassador to Norway Masahiro Tauchi, and the Norwegian Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde.

The cooperative relationship between GCE NODE, NORCE and Nippon Foundation is focused on ocean innovation, including offshore oil & gas, offshore renewables and subsea mining. The ambition is to build a joint portfolio of research, development and innovation projects with a budget of USD 6 million from each side (total amount: USD 12 million).

Parties of what will be recognized as NIPPON-NORWAY Ocean, are to cooperate on research, development and innovation projects and competence programs involving research institutions and industry in both countries, in addition to exchange of students, scientists, young engineers and professionals.

“Japan has unique and competitive technologies in various sectors such as artificial intelligence and robotics. GCE NODE and NORCE are the leaders to bring innovation forward. I am grateful for the opportunity to establish new collaboration with them and hope that the program will open a new frontier for offshore energy,” says Mitsuyuki Unno, Executive Director of The Nippon Foundation.

“Norway has long traditions and deep knowledge in ocean research and innovation. To be able to further strengthen this competence with the highly recognized partner Nippon Foundation, is a unique opportunity to collaborate across borders to find new sustainable energy solutions. We look forward to working closely with Nippon Foundation and GCE NODE on this program”, says Elisabeth M. Støle, CEO of NORCE.

“For GCE NODE, it is important to increase competitiveness in existing markets and transfer competence and technology to new markets. Partnering with world-class researcher and innovation leaders in Japan and Norway, provides an opportunity to do both. This partnership will assist our industry’s efforts to move in a more cost-effective and sustainable direction,” says Anne-Grete Ellingsen, CEO of GCE NODE.

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NIPPON FOUNDATION is one of the largest independent and non-profit grant funding organizations in Japan. It cooperates closely with government, industry and academia. With an annual budget of USD 450 million, Nippon Foundation works within a number of fields, such as Ocean and Maritime, Social Welfare and Education and International Cooperation Projects. Its activities include policy recommendation, policy implementation and funding.

NORCE, including subsidiaries, is one of Norway’s largest independent research institutes with approximately 900 employees, 1500 running projects, annual sales of NOK 1,1 billion, around 500 scientific publications a year and a track record of more than 80 years. NORCE provides research and innovation in energy, health, climate, environment, society and technology.

GCE NODE is a technology cluster, based in southern Norway, with a global focus on energy, offshore and maritime sectors. The cluster has more than 100 participating companies, academic institutions and organizations. GCE NODE aims to help companies secure and strengthen competitiveness in existing markets and transfer existing competence and technology into new markets.


Thor Arne Håverstad (Executive Vice President NORCE), Anne-Grete Ellingsen (CEO of GCE NODE), Mitsuyuki Unno (Executive Director Nippon Foundation), Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde (Deputy Minister of Petroleum and Energy), Høye Høyesen (Chairman of the Board, GCE NODE) and Atsuki Ito (First Secretary at Embassy of Japan to Norway)