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Met to discuss blue growth in the marine industry

  • Publisert 30.10.2014
After three years of cooperation in the Nordic marine sector, the scene was set to summarise and reflect on the Nordic Marine Innovation Programme and its 14 projects, but the participants at the Nordic Marine Innovation Conference 2014 also looked into the future.


The conference took part at Den Blå Planet, just outside Copenhagen. The aquarium is Northern Europe's largest with more than 20,000 animals and seven million litres of water. Roger Moe Bjørgan, the Managing director of Nordic Innovation, had the pleasure of opening the conference. Moe Bjørgan pointed out the importance of the collaboration that has been established in the Programme, which is an initiative driven forwards by the sector itself.


Elisabeth Smith, adviser at Nordic Innovation, then talked about the experience of the programme, which is the first of its kind to bring the marine industry together across the borders in the Nordic region. It has resulted in new partnerships and innovations to meet the future challenges in the sector, and is a great example of how Nordic cooperation works in practice. Smith was proud to announce the new initiative, “Marine 2.0” which is built on the experience of the current programme. Hopefully, Marine 2.0 will support the sector in utilising the full potential in the Nordic marine sector through innovative solutions that can increase the business opportunities, sustainability and profitability.



Creative moderator

The conference was moderated by Per Olav Skjervold, who has broad experience from research and as a leader in including The Research Council of Norway, Ewos Innovation and TINE. Skjervold is passionate about culture, innovation, development of new ideas, and has a background as a jazz musician. He creatively brought his background into his task as moderator by presenting a musical piece involving a fish.


Fourteen projects

Through the programme, Nordic Innovation, national and other Nordic funding partners have financed 14 different projects involving around 100 people, with participants from the Nordic region and Canada. As the programme is in its final stage, the conference’s main objective was to reflect on the results of the projects. The projects leaders had five minutes each to summarise and explain the main results, the obstacles along the way and what lays ahead for the project.


The way forward

One of the main speakers, Frank Asche, had the task of looking into the future of the Nordic marine sector. Asche is professor at the Department of Industrial Economics, Risk Management and Planning at the University of Stavanger and has extensive knowledge of the marine sector in the Nordics. He presented facts and numbers from the marine sector today and explained the development of the sector in the last 40 years. Ache pointed out that the future of seafood industry lays in aquaculture.


– By 2030 aquaculture will be the most important seafood production technology, Asche predicted.


See Asche’s presentation here (PDF)


Working session

After Ache’s fascinating presentation, the conference went into an interactive session. In 2015 Denmark will hold the presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The Faroe Islands will be in charge of the Nordic Fisheries cooperation and will focus on "growth in the blue bioeconomy".  Based on this, Ásmundur Guðjónsson from the Faroese Ministry of Fisheries invited the conference participants to discuss and present their wanted outcome of the presidency concerning the specific thematic focus areas in their flagship project. Divided into groups, the participants stated examples of success stories, what they would like to see in the future, what to avoid and which questions should be answered.


See Guðjónsson presentation here (PDF)


Download the entire output from the working session here (PDF)


Marketing perspective from a cycling enthusiast

The last speaker of the day was Runar Omarsson. Omarsson is VP Sales & Marketing in Lauf Trail Racer forks. Along with riding bikes all his life, he was also one of the first surfers in Iceland. Omarsson was the founder and GM of Nikita Clothing, an international clothing brand. Omarsson talked about how important marketing is if you want people to buy your product and how the Nordic marine sector should put more emphasis on developing a solid marketing strategy as the sector has enormous potential. 


The Danish creative agency Levende Streg made a graphic recording from the whole conference. This provided the audience with creative understanding of the speeches and presentation during de the day.



The day ended with an exciting tour of the aquarium, and a lovely dinner surrounded with thousands of fish.

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