– Ocean Space Incubator will become Norway’s leading environment for sustainable growth companies within ocean space technology and maritime energy.
That’s what Bjørn Damhaug, general manager of the innovation company Fremtidens Industri (FI), says, which has now received the green light from both Siva and Trøndelag county council to establish the incubator.
Siva’s incubation program aims to contribute to increased national value creation by identifying, commercializing, and further developing innovative ideas for new growth companies and triggering growth in established businesses. Who gets to run the incubators is decided in a national competition.
– We are happy that our application came out well in this competition. It is also very positive that the politicians see the great opportunities for innovation and new value creation that exist within ocean space technology and maritime energy solutions, says Damhaug.
Closing the gap
Norway is a maritime power with great growth ambitions for the blue sector. At the same time, ambitious climate targets have been set, which the business world must deal with.
– This has triggered a great demand for new technologies and sustainable solutions. The academy has responded with major investment in energy and ocean space technology development. However, until now the link between idea development and commercialization still needs to be added, says Damhaug.
The consequence is that Norwegian value creation slows down, and the probability of reaching national and global climate targets decreases.
– Ocean Space Incubator will help to close this gap by being a market-close reception device for the good ideas and solutions, and companies with potential for commercialisation, says Damhaug.
Established in the technology capital
Being a link between academia, the technology, and industry sectors is something FI works on daily. The innovation company leads, among other things, business clusters with extensive national and international operations for the ocean space; NCE Aquatech Cluster, RENERGY – Renewable Energy Cluster, and Ocean Autonomy Cluster.
– We also have extensive experience with industrial collaboration and R&D projects with companies SINTEF and NTNU, says Damhaug.
The incubator’s head office will be established together with the rest of the innovation environment at Nyhavna in Trondheim.
– Norway is a world leader in ocean space technology, and Nyhavna is central to developing and rolling out sustainable solutions nationally and internationally. Together with industry, the technology environment, and the competence environments at NTNU and SINTEF, the Ocean Space Incubator will contribute to Norway maintaining and strengthening its leading position in ocean space technology, says Damhaug.
In addition to Nyhavna, the incubator will establish nodes in Hitra, Fosen and in Nærøysund.
Here too, incubation companies will have access to, among other things, incubation services and infrastructure, says Damhaug.
This is Siva’s incubator program
- Siva – The company for industrial growth – is a state enterprise that develops, owns, and finances a national infrastructure for innovation and business development consisting of incubators, business parks, catapult centers, innovation companies, and innovation centers and industrial buildings.
- Through the program, Siva contributes NOK 1.5 – 5 million in annual grants, which the incubator uses to develop start-up companies and “spinoffs” from established companies.
- An incubator is an innovation company or part of an innovative company. These will contribute to establishing and developing new growth companies and creating growth in established businesses by offering and making available advice within business development and commercialization at a subsidized cost. They offer a professional and social environment where entrepreneurs, companies, academia, R&D environments, investors, and others connect.
- Siva has operator responsibility for the program, which was established in 2012 and will last until 2022. From 1 January 2020, the county municipalities are clients of the national incubation program.
- From 2013 to 2020, around 6,000 companies received help for their development through the incubation program. These have had an accumulated value creation 2012-2019 of NOK 9.0 billion (operating profit and labour costs).