Norway: Smart Ocean granted SFI status
Smart Ocean has won SFI-status by the Research Council of Norway.
The centre will run for eight years with a total budget of close to NOK 300 million.
The Smart Ocean concept consist of 20 partners from across the entire value chain.
This includes operators, service and technology providers, universities, research institutes and public entities.
The University of Bergen (UiB) hosts the Centre which builds upon their strategic focus on ocean technology.
SFI Smart Ocean vision is realisation of a generic autonomous and flexible wireless multi-parameter marine observation system for reliable management of a productive and healthy ocean.
The main application is environment, structure and also marine life.
Smart Ocean will utilise national research infrastructure in the Norwegian Ocean Laboratory and the Ocean Innovation Norwegian Catapult Centre.
Owe Hagesæther CEO of GCE Ocean Technology, said:
“This will create a strong joint innovation platform to develop the next generation of ocean technology.
“We would like to commend all the actors in the consortium, but especially the University of Bergen (UiB) for a great collaboration which resulted in this SFI.”
GCE Ocean Technology have focused on the area of integrated environmental monitoring since 2006.
Integrated monitoring became the key technology focus area when they received Global Centres of Expertise (GCE) status in 2015.
The cluster has since been working actively to establish a centre for research-based innovation (SFI).
This work evolved into the Smart Ocean concept.
Increased Ocean Technology Collaboration
“We will actively collaborate with SFI Smart Ocean and contribute in joint working groups, workshops and seminars.
“We will support the Centre with establishing joint spin-off activities and RDI projects.
“Moreover, we will also contribute with our expertise within commercialisation, and make available business development and scale-up programmes“, Hagesæther said.
The cluster was very active in establishing Norway’s first subsea bachelor education at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL). As the cluster has evolved so has the study programme which is now an ocean technology study.
An integrated Master of Ocean Technology was established in 2017 by UiB, HVL and the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy.
Smart Ocean represents a unique possibility to strengthening the education of the next generation of employees and to demonstrate the many possibilities that lies in our oceans.