Nor-Shipping and Nordic Innovation have partnered to help facilitate a new funding instrument aimed at supporting innovation and collaboration between land-based and ocean industries. Working together they will now arrange three regional cross-industry workshops to mobilise potential partners and ideas, before using Nor-Shipping 2019 in Oslo and Lillestrøm as the official launch pad for the ‘Nordic Innovation Mobility Mission’ funding instrument.
Nordic Innovation, which is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, aims to increase sustainable growth in the Nordic region and works to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and competitiveness in Nordic companies. The Oslo-headquartered organisation has identified ‘smart mobility and connectivity’ as a key strategic area, with the ‘Sea Meets Land’ project falling within this sphere. The Nordic Innovation Mobility Mission financial instrument is a key part of the project and will support applicants developing innovative solutions enabling Nordic Innovation’s objectives.
Nor-Shipping and Nordic Innovation will conduct workshops in Reykjavik, Turku and Gothenburg. These will tackle specialised themes, encouraging ideation, enabling partnerships and helping to finalise the funding instrument design prior to its launch on 7 June in Nor-Shipping’s Blue Economy Hall.
“The Nordic cluster is an epicentre for the development of new technology and services aimed at advancing the sustainable blue economy, and this funding opportunity will really help build on that platform,” explains Silje Bareksten, Head of Sustainability and Technology at Nor-Shipping. “With our position within the maritime sector we can help Nordic Innovation connect with its key target audience and support the most worthy projects, while feeding in expertise that will help tailor the fund to achieve maximum impact.”
“From our perspective this initiative complements the Sustainable Development Goals Nor-Shipping has committed to, with particular regard to SDG 17, Partnerships for the Goals. We want to encourage and enable new partnerships within the ocean space, creating not just business opportunity for our core maritime audience, but also feeding into the creation of sustainable activity that helps meet society’s needs going forwards,” continues Bareksten.
Tom O. Kleppestø of Ocean Industry Forum Oslofjord, a well-known figure within Scandinavian maritime circles, will lead the workshops, the first of which takes place in the Icelandic capital on 29 January, focusing on “small scale mobility pilots for smarter ocean harvest”. The Finnish workshop (13 March) centres on ‘smart mobility for passenger travel – connecting the Baltic’, while the Swedish event is scheduled for 24 April, examining ‘smart ports in the era of energy transition and decarbonisation’.
Speaking of what he hopes will emerge from the workshops, Kleppestø comments, “We aim to use the specialist strengths of the three hubs to attract both local and regional, as well as other Nordic, participants, harvesting ideas and gaining insight into the support needed to enable positive, sustainable change.”
“Together with Nordic Innovation, we hope to bring together the key stakeholders than can drive development, including businesses (both maritime and land-based), public sector actors and authorities, and a wide range of industry clusters. We believe these workshops can fire the starting gun for a new wave of projects, inspiring collaborations, engaging partners and consolidating the Nordic’s position as a regional hub for forward-thinking, innovative solutions,” Kleppestø adds.
Following on from the Nor-Shipping launch, Nordic Innovation will award the funding or other support scheme, depending on the final design, to selected recipients in the latter half of 2019. Commenting on the motivation behind the partnership, Nina Egeli, Senior Innovation Advisor at Nordic Innovation, notes, “Nor-Shipping is a well-established arena and ‘one of a kind’ in the Nordics, especially with regards to its connections throughout the entire maritime industry value chain. The team has a strategic approach that fits well with our plan in regard to cross-sector focus, digitalisation and the link to the SDGs. We see Nor-Shipping as an obvious partner.”
On the potential of the funding itself, Egeli adds, “Our meetings with leaders in the maritime and adjacent industries in all five Nordic countries have highlighted the huge possibilities around the ‘Sea Meets Land’ theme. However, there is a need for financing and facilitation, and this is where Nordic Innovation can take a role. We don’t have all the answers though, and that is why we now want to involve the industry to develop this exciting programme going forward.”
Nor-Shipping 2019, which is expected to attract over 30,000 visitors from across the globe, takes place in Oslo and Lillestrøm, Norway, from 4 to 7 June 2019. The Blue Economy Hall will help exhibitors and visitors demonstrate and engage with “tomorrow’s business solutions today”, with emphasis on sustainable resource use and environmental protection.
Nor-Shipping’s other “themed” halls showcase IT & Navigation, Safety & Rescue, Shipbuilding & Repair, Maritime Services & Logistics, and Propulsion & Machinery.
Visit www.nor-shipping.com to find out more.