Microsoft and C4IR Ocean join forces to save the ocean

The Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Ocean (C4IR Ocean) is working to promote a sustainable ocean and is partnering with Microsoft to develop technology-based solutions to improve ocean health.

Aker and the World Economic Forum are behind C4IR Ocean, which is part of a global network of 10 Centers for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR). Specifically, the network works to develop projects to enable technology and digitalisation solve important societal tasks.

“We want to step up the use of technology to ensure future value creation. Whoever manages to exploit the potential that lies in new technology is tomorrow’s winner, this also applies to countries. We are pleased that Microsoft wants to join forces with us in this first thematic center in the C4IR network. We have no time to lose in the fight for a healthier ocean,” says CEO of the World Economic Forum, Børge Brende, board member of C4IR Ocean.

“The ambition with the C4IR Ocean center is to establish a results-oriented collaboration arena for private and public players with the capacity and competency to make a difference in the work towards ensuring that resources in the oceans are managed responsibly and sustainably. Together we must act quickly. We are pleased to have Microsoft on the team as one of the world’s leading technology experts with a global reach. The fact that Microsoft is stepping in as a co-founding partner of C4IR Ocean in Norway gives the center resources and adds weight and impact in its work for a healthy and productive ocean,” says CEO of Aker, Øyvind Eriksen.

Microsoft takes responsibility for its water footprint

Microsoft president Brad Smith outlined why the global technology company is partnering with C4IR Ocean to protect the world’s oceans.

Lucas Joppa, Microsoft chief environmental officer, said: “We are only as healthy as our ocean. It is critical to ensuring the planet doesn’t warm more than 1.5 degrees and ensuring economic security around the world. But climate change, pollution, and over exploitation of marine systems are putting our ocean in jeopardy. Microsoft and C4IR Ocean share a vision for ocean health and how to best use data and technology to achieve it. We’re proud to be the first corporate partner, outside the Aker group, of this important initiative and look forward to working together to ensure our ocean is healthy.”

Largest and most inclusive hub

C4IR Ocean’s flagship project presents the construction of an ocean data platform set for launch at the World Economic Forum’s summit on sustainable development today, 23 September.

The ocean data platform frees ocean data and makes them more accessible to researchers, decision-makers and developers, who thus get access to a wide range of data sources on a large scale.

In the last six months, data from 220,000 research cruises since 1890 have been uploaded. The ocean data platform is built on Cognite Data Fusion technology and enables the time it takes to obtain this data to be reduced from days and hours to seconds.

CEO of C4IR Ocean, Bjørn Tore Markussen, also says:

“We want to be the largest, most inviting hub for computer-driven solutions for the ocean and contribute to reduced emissions, plastic waste and overfishing. To do this, we need the biggest players on the team early on. We are already working with several committed partners in industry, science, conservation and government. We have found the right partner in Microsoft to realize the power of sharing data through cloud technology, data analysis and machine learning to build smart solutions for the ocean.”

Through close and good contact with the Norwegian government, C4IR Ocean also supports the work of Erna Solberg’s Ocean panel.

“It is inspiring to see that C4IR Ocean uses the large knowledge base we in the panel have presented. We look forward to collaborating on the role of new technologies in finding sustainable solutions for the Ocean after the Heads of State and Government present their recommendations on 3 December,” says Vidar Helgesen, who leads the Ocean Panel’s work for the Prime Minister.

Important for Norway

The partnership between C4IR Ocean and Microsoft became known during the launch of Microsoft’s water sustainability strategy. The company has set itself the goal of becoming carbon negative and zero waste by 2030 and they want to take responsibility for their water footprint while helping others to do the same.

“We are proud to be one of the organizations working with C4IR Ocean on their open ocean data platform. This global, open-source platform gives researchers, app developers and marine planners access to both historical and real-time data so they can develop solutions to improve ocean health. It is clear that this is important for a shipping nation like Norway and we in Microsoft Norway are proud to be part of this important journey,” says Kimberly Lein-Mathisen, CEO of Microsoft Norway.

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