“GCE NODE companies can contribute to the entire value chain, from control systems to structures, instrumentation, and workflows. They have extensive experience and tremendous understanding of the ocean. It is very exciting to see what they can do,” says Tom Fidjeland.
He is CEO of GCE NODE, one of the organizers of the two-day conference in Kristiansand. Even though Fidjeland is impressed by what the cluster companies bring to the table in a new line of business, he issues a warning.
“To be successful in aquaculture we need to bring more than technology. We must understand aquaculture as a business, just as we had to understand oil and gas as a business decades ago. We must understand the biology, animal welfare and all other important aspects of this business. We need to do our homework,” says Fidjeland.
At the conference at Dyreparken Hotel, several companies took the stage to explain how they contribute with competence and technology.
CSUB, a composite specialist with headquarters in Arendal, has made a transition from oil and gas to aquaculture. In 2021, 27 per cent of CSUB revenue comes from this industry.
“Next year, we expect aquaculture to generate half of our revenues. This is solely because we are adding more aquaculture project, not because other industries are declining,” says Jon Inge Brattås, Senior Vice President Market and Technology at CSUB.
The company produces land-based composite shapes for fish farming.
“These are non-corrosive solutions with extreme strength-weight ratio, durable (more than 50 years) and with low CO2 footprint,” says Brattås.
DESS Aqua has also made the transition from offshore and has twelve ships in operation serving the aquaculture sector as part of the Sølvtrans group, from the offices in Grimstad. Volue, a portfolio company of Arendals Fossekompani, provides sensor technology and decision supporting systems to the aquaculture industry. And Nekkar in Kristiansand is close to starting a full-scale test of a prototype of a closed fish cage, follow extensive small-scale testing in Agder.
cDynamics and Red Rock also presented their solutions for the aquaculture industry at the conference.