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Innovation in the Nordic marine sector

  • Publisert 24.02.2009
  • Sist oppdatert 20.05.2011
The aim of this report is to examine innovation instruments and systems that are available in the Nordic Marine Sector; to consider the strength and weakness of the Nordic countries, and to suggest how to enhance innovation and competitiveness of the marine industries through Nordic cooperation. The marine sector in this context is broadly defined, encompassing both primary producers in aquaculture and fisheries, processing industry and support industry delivering technology and services. Innovation is also broadly defined; covering both radical and incremental innovations, commercial, technological, and organisational innovations.

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It is evident that the Nordic countries have different strengths and weaknesses regarding innovation in the marine sector, as Norwegians for example can be considered experts in aquaculture and vessel design, while processing of seafood has been the most advanced in Iceland and marketing in Denmark. This should be taken advantage of by encouraging each country to focus on what they do best and at the same time to enhance collaboration to increase exchange and development of expertise between the Nordic countries. By stimulating such a development it is possible to foster a dynamic entrepreneurial environment which in selected areas may be able to churn out innovations and ensure competitiveness on a global level.

The technological status, competitive strength, and interests for Nordic cooperation have been considered for the main subsectors of the marine sector. Among those, four subsectors have been identified as being the most promising, in terms of innovation opportunities. These are: Fishing gear, aquaculture, processing and traceability, and marine biochemicals. These subsectors have been analysed and suggestions are made on how to facilitate innovation through enhanced Nordic cooperation.

Available funding for innovation projects on the Nordic level, as well as in each of the Nordic countries, has been examined; and suggestions are made on how to increase their effectiveness through better focusing, information sharing and cooperation. 

There seems to be an untapped potential for innovation in expanding existing and developing new forms of cooperation amongst governmental agencies, research partners and industrial partners on a Nordic level. Suggestions are made on how this can be achieved by:

  1. Sharpening existing instruments through focusing of available resources,
  2. Sharing of information, facilities and equipment,
  3. Cooperating in projects and funding, and
  4. Capitalising on and exploiting the different competences available in each of the Nordic countries.
This report was initiated by Nordic Innovation Centre (NICe), Nordic Fisheries Cooperation, Nordic Atlantic Cooperation (NORA)

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