“SFI Offshore Mechatronics is in its final phase while SFI Smart Ocean is still in its early phase. The two SFIs have overlapping and adjacent thematic areas relevant for the evolving offshore renewable energy sector and ocean farming,” says Christian von der Ohe, RD&I Manager at GCE NODE.
Common possibilities relevant for the industry were examined in two workshops – one in Grimstad and one in Bergen – as stakeholders met across regions and along the value chains of offshore, marine, and maritime industries.
“By sharing perspectives and outcomes of the two Centers for Research-based Innovation, we gained insightful and genuine innovation processes,” says von der Ohe.
The program included selected inspirational talks from academia and industry, and a workshop element where the participants suggested ideas and developed them in collaboration.
SFI Smart Ocean sought input on how to expand its activities and gain insights into the demand for underwater sensors and communication solutions while SFI Offshore Mechatronics is nearing the conclusion of its work and wanted to spark new collaborations and applications based upon research areas that it has explored during its SFI period.
Throughout the workshops, industry leaders shared their perspectives and specific industry needs on measurement technology, offshore wind, marine minerals, aquaculture, CO2 storage, and oil & gas. The workshops culminated in group discussions aimed at addressing the requirements of both SFIs and shaping new research directions for them and the ocean industries.
“One of the primary roles of our clusters is to facilitate this type of interaction between the industry and research centers,” agreed von der Ohe and Bjarte Fagerås, Senior R&D Advisor at GCE Ocean Technology.
“Research centers often stand at the forefront of cutting-edge knowledge and technological breakthroughs, while industries bring the financial resources and real-world expertise required to transform these innovations into practical market solutions. When these two forces converge, ideas can be translated into market-ready solutions more rapidly and precisely,” says Fagerås.