UiB participating in world-leading cluster cooperation

Earlier this month, the Subsea cluster in Bergen was granted Global Centre of Expertise (GCE) status. For UiB the participation in this cluster represents a strengthening of the university's marine research environment and points towards the establishment of Science City Bergen and the EnTec building.

Underwater subsea oil rig, used to illustrate article on Subsea cluster in Bergen.
GLOBAL LEADING INDUSTRY CLUSTER: With the creation of GCE Subsea, Bergen gets a world class commercial and innovation cluster in the field of deep sea technology. UiB already plays an important role in research in the Subsea environment in Bergen and UiB's new strategy aims at strengthening the university's technological research in the form of Science City Bergen.

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On Friday 12 June 2015, Mister of Trade and Industry Monica Mæland and Minster of Local Government and Modernisation Jan Tore Sanner presented seven new Norwegian industrial clusters that are now included in the national cluster programme, Norwegian Innovation Clusters.

Restructuring and sustainable development are important goals and shared aims for the seven new industrial clusters which now receive support and guidance through the cluster programme, Norwegian Innovation Clusters. This kind of cooperation on research and innovation is crucial for solving future challenges and building long-term competence and competitiveness.


Toward Science City Bergen

For the University of Bergen (UiB), participation in GCE Subsea is important when one looks ahead toward the establishment of the Science City Bergen research cluster and work on the new EnTec Building.

“This is at the hub of one of our priority areas and will be of paramount importance in developing the technology profile at our faculty, inter alia through the centre for Deep Marine Research. It will also contribute to the work of new MSc studies,” says Helge K. Dahle, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science.


Establishment with elite status

With the status of Global Centre of Expertise the Bergen-based cluster GCE Subsea finds its place in what is termed the elite division of Norway’s trade and industry. An important goal for GCE Subsea is to contribute to the restructuring and further development of world-leading Norwegian underwater technology for use in new areas and new industries.

The centre is the only one in the country that has GCE status. But, simultaneously, much is taking place in various parts of the marine research environment at UiB and in Bergen. Recently, the Seafood Innovation Cluster was granted status as a Norwegian Centre of Expertise (NCE).

“The region now has three important clusters, when we also include NCE Maritime CleanTech, which will all be very important in increasing adaptability and innovation in the region. At the same time, these clusters all fit well into the Faculty’s and UiB’s strategy document,” says Dean Dahle.


NOK 137 million kroner distributed

This year, the Government has allocated NOK 137 million in the national budget for the cluster programme Norwegian Innovation Clusters. GCE Subsea director Owe Hagesæther is extremely happy about the new status.

“To achieve the status of Global Centre of Expertise for the Subsea environment is a large step in developing today’s cluster, and for the Norwegian subsea industry as a whole.  We will now expand and intensify the work that has brought us to where we are today,” says Hagesæther, who continues:

“Building up expertise, models for innovation and carrying out industrial development               with a view to strengthening the Norwegian subsea industry, calls for a lot of hard work, but provides a lot of satisfaction.”


39 active cluster projects

If we include the new cluster projects, there are now 39 active cluster projects that are organised with support and guidance from the cluster programme Norwegian Innovation Clusters. The programme is jointly owned and operated by the Research Council of Norway, the Industrial Development Corporation of Norway (Siva) and Innovation Norway, and is financed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation.

GCE Subsea comprises a number of companies in the Bergen region, with primary focus on subsea installations, operations and maintenance of subsea production systems. By cooperating over many years, the cluster has established a very strong foundation for further international positioning of Norwegian subsea expertise and technology.  With the GCE status, the cluster also intends to restructure and apply world-leading subsea technology and expertise in completely new areas, such as sea wind, offshore aquaculture and mineral exploitation.