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Press Release: Washington-Norway industry cluster partnership signed at Nor-Shipping

PRESS RELEASE: The shipping industry’s ambitious targets for emission reductions towards 2050 requires cooperation across borders. At Nor-Shipping two major industry clusters from Norway and USA will sign an agreement to strengthen the countries’ collaboration on sustainable maritime solutions.

On Tuesday 4 June, a new partnership between Norwegian industry cluster NCE Maritime CleanTech and Seattle-based cluster Washington Maritime Blue will be signed at one of the most industry-important shipping arenas, Nor-Shipping in Oslo.

The maritime industry plays an important role in solving some of the major environmental and climate challenges the world is facing. In the coming years ship owners will also meet stricter environmental regulations at both national and global levels and the industry faces ambitious targets for emission cuts.

“To achieve these targets, we need to speed up the development and introduction of low and zero emission solutions. We believe cooperation between strong maritime clusters like ourselves is essential in this development. The partnership signed today is also in line with UNs Sustainability Goal 17 that points to how a successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector and the civil society”, says Hege Økland, CEO of NCE Maritime CleanTech.

“We are excited about the possibilities this partnership creates for future collaboration. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship between Norwegian and Washington maritime partners”, says Joshua Berger, Washington State Governor’s Maritime Sector Lead and Chairman of Washington Maritime Blue.

Aims for increased innovation

This industry agreement follows up the signing of a MoU for cooperation on green maritime technology between Norway’s national economic development agency Innovation Norway and Washington State Department of Commerce in Seattle in May. The signing of the MoU was witnessed and endorsed by the Norwegian Ambassador to the United States, Kare Aas and Washington’s Lieutenant Governor, Cyrus Habib.

The main goal of the partnership between the Norwegian and US cluster is that member companies will gain competitive advantage from collaborating with each other.

“Our experience is that a cluster is an important platform that can accelerate innovation by bringing the partners together, facilitate knowledge-sharing, initiate innovation processes and assist in developing new value chains”, says Økland.

The new partnership is also based on a belief that cluster-to-cluster-partnership will result in early notification of new developments:

“Using resources from both groups will give our members first-hand knowledge about new technologies for maritime applications We have also seen that sharing knowledge on new technologies can often lead to substantial reductions in implementation timeframes”, Berger says.

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