The ocean industries have an increasing need for testing and demonstration facilities to propel the development of new technologies and solutions. NCE Maritime CleanTech is now leading an initiative to connect and develop existing infrastructure to create a world-class innovation arena for green and smart energy systems.  

The NCE Maritime CleanTech initiated “SMIA” (Sustainable Marine Innovation Arena) test centre comprises several state-of-the-art test facilities and test sites hosted by cutting edge technology providers. SMIA will be a world class innovation arena for sustainable energy solutions to the ocean industries, enhanced by comprehensive co-operation with academia and research institutions.

SMIA is now one of 11 industry collaborations that are through to the finale in the Norwegian governmentally funded programme Norsk Katapult. The programme is owned by Siva, a Norwegian state enterprise responsible for government investment in incubators, science parks, industrial parks and real estate. 1-3 test environments will be awarded funding through Norsk Katapult in 2018.

– Testing and verification facilities for new technology is an enabler for more effective and cost-efficient implementation of green solutions in the maritime, seafood and power industries. Premium test facilities for prototyping and testing will enhance innovation, increase speed and reduce costs, CEO of NCE Maritime CleanTech, Hege Økland, says.

The centre will collate existing infrastructure, physical and virtual, in a bridging company that will make equipment, facilities, competency and even vessels available for rent for the industry.

Towards low-emission shipping

The decarbonising of the energy value chain through the introduction of clean technologies in areas dominated by fossil fuels is an important step towards a low emission shipping industry. This development requires new technologies that must meet requirements from demanding conditions.

– The technology needs to be future ready, cost- and energy efficient and most importantly – reliable. If you live in an off-grid society or operate a low emissions vessel, you need uninterrupted power supplies. To make sure that we develop the right technology at a high pace and at a sustainable cost level, the industry needs test facilities and test sites. SMIA will make the necessary infrastructure accessible also for companies that do not have such facilitates today, Økland states.