Key decision makers and industry players from the State of Washington visited Innovation Norway and NCE Maritime CleanTech in search for green maritime technology and project partners.

Washington State Department of Commerce looked to Norway when they established the Washington Maritime Blue cluster, which is the State’s strategy for a sustainable maritime industry. The aim of the State’s visit to Norway is to strengthen relations and explore environmentally friendly maritime solutions.

– We brought with us a large group of public officials, policy makers, research scientists and industry partners. The goal for the trip is to let key decision makers and leaders get their hands on how

the blue economy is being implemented here in Norway, Maritime Sector Lead, Joshua Berger, says.

Environmental efforts gaining pace

The Washington delegation meeting NCE Maritime CleanTech and cluster partners at Stord in September, 2019.

The State of Washington has committed to ambitious targets for emission reductions, and their environmental efforts are gaining pace with the Washington Blue Maritime cluster.

– We have been talking a lot about theory and taken some big steps in commitments, but this journey gives us the opportunity to touch the technology and even smell it. Or maybe not smell it, in the case of the electric ferries, Berger says smiling.

During the visit in Norway the delegation from Washington have had an extensive programme in Oslo, Ålesund, Bergen and at Stord. They have met many of NCE Maritime CleanTech´s cluster partners.

– We have been looking forward to receiving the delegation from the US. This is a good chance for us to showcase capabilities within our cluster and the Sustainable Energy Norwegian Catapult Centre. We will also discuss future collaborative projects and the cluster´s role in developing a green, maritime industry, CEO Hege Økland of NCE Maritime CleanTech says.

Collaboration agreements

The visit to NCE Maritime CleanTech’s offices at Stord follows the collaboration agreement signed between the two clusters at Nor-Shipping earlier this year.

– This trip is a big manifestation of our agreement. We have started trading some ideas, not only on high level policies and how we are organized, but also on potential collaborative projects, Berger explains.

Washington Maritime Blue is committed to the development of the maritime industry in a way that promotes a sustainable future. Exchanging knowledge is the way to move the industry forward.

– The people here today are the people that are building and funding the ferries in Washington. And this is also the people that are doing the research on the next generation energy needs in the maritime industry. Our visit to Norway allows them to go back to their decision makers and stakeholders to tell them what the future might look like, Berger says.

Extensive program with exciting discussions

Ragnhild J. Fresvik presenting Sparebanken Vest`s role in the ecosystem for maritime innovation.

The program started out with an introduction to Norwegian authorities’ role in early innovation processes, including presentations from both The Norwegian Maritime Authority and Hordaland County Council. The program also included a tour at the Sustainable Energy Catapult Centre’s test site, as well as at the new Corvus Energy battery factory in Bergen.

At a seminar co-hosted by Sparebanken Vest, we discussed the ecosystem for entrepreneurship and funding for the blue economy.

Westcon Power & Automation, Wärtsilä, Norwegian Electric Systems, Port of Bergen, Evoy, VIS and Innovation Norway did all present their solutions and thoughts on the transition towards greener activities, leading to exciting discussions.

Washington Maritime Blue and NCE Maritime CleanTech will now continue our work to develop our first joint innovation projects.