Never letting a good crisis go to waste, the industry is continuously looking for new markets.

By Tom Fidjeland, CEO of GCE NODE

Covid-19 has affected daily life and working life throughout the world, abruptly pushing back on a sense of optimism at the start of the year. As Europe and most of the world shut down in March and April, the already severely hit oil and gas industry received another big blow.Oil service, in which a majority of GCE NODE companies operate, is one of the hardest hit segments of the oil and gas industry.

Offshore wind and marine minerals currently top the list of relevant and maturing markets for GCE NODE cluster companies.

An Agder collaboration project has been launched to raise awareness and help companies position themselves in the offshore wind market. The idea is to identify the entire value chain within offshore wind, from offshore equipment to ports and various infrastructure needed. What kind of challenges and opportunities does this new industry present with regards to energy storage, transmission and trade, and how can our companies contribute?

Another promising market is marine minerals – less mature than offshore wind, but still highly relevant for the competence and technology possessed by many GCE NODE companies. Pending further explorations, Norway could prove to have the second most natural mineral resources in the world. Marine minerals has the potential of becoming a new industrial adventure for Norway.

In finishing the list of promising new markets, we should mention hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, and seafood production technology. GCE NODE will examine the potential in such markets and provide knowledge for our companies to benefit from. Furthermore, we will create networks and set up collaborations that enable companies to secure positions in these new markets.

Five months into my period as CEO of GCE NODE, I have gained new knowledge about an organization I have known for years. As a long-standing member of the GCE NODE Board of Directors, I thought I knew the cluster and its administration well. And in most ways, I did. However, I have been impressed by the competence and experience that GCE NODE possesses. We have a well-coordinated, collaborative team focused
on tasks and activities that add value to the cluster participants.

As a result of the pandemic, the number of physical meetings has, of course, been heavily reduced. Even though we have enjoyed connecting online in 2020, we are very much looking forward to – fingers crossed – meeting you in person in 2021.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a better new year!