Ocean Week 2018

It is now time to talk about one ocean industry, Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen said in his speech at Ocean Week 2018 in Trondheim, 7 May 2018.

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I believe that our future is blue.

We will continue to live by the ocean, from the ocean and off the ocean.

And I believe that the path to that future is green.

At last year's Ocean Week, Kongsberg Seatex presented two autonomous ships: «Ocean Space Drone 1» and «Ocean Space Drone 2».

One month ago, I tried to operate these two boats,

in the Trondheim fjord.

From Oslo!

These two boats were developed with knowledge and expertise from the NTNU and Sintef. Of course!


This is where two of the government's most important priorities meet.

The ocean and knowledge.

So what better place to be to discuss our blue future.

Than here, in the tech capital of Norway.

The source of so much world class ocean research.

And so many ocean entrepreneurs and engineers.

Here, we are developing an international center for ocean space technology.

In the very middle are our hosts - Sintef and NTNU,

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Where we have decided a new and united campus.


The Ocean and Norway go thousands of years back.

And we will head into the future, together.

We will continue to create jobs, create growth,

and we will create solutions to global challenges.

By the ocean, from the ocean, and off the ocean.

The potential is there. Tremendous as the ocean itself.

70 per cent of our planet is covered by sea.

And 90 percent of the ocean is yet to be fully discovered.

We know more about the surface on Mars, than the bottom of the Sea!

According to the OECD, the ocean economy can double its contribution to global wealth creation until 2030.

And according to a report from Sintef, who else? –

our marine sector can six double value creation by 2050.


The Government will do what we can to release that potential.

Across our ocean industries.

Last year, we launched an ambitious ocean strategy.

Called "New growth, proud history."

Our goal is clear: Norway shall be the top ocean-based economy.

We aim to make the most of the opportunities in the ocean economy.

  • By offering the best possible framework conditions,
  • By promoting horizontal collaboration across our ocean industries,
  • By investing in knowledge and technology development,
  • And supporting our companies' internationalization.

Today, Norway's ocean economy accounts for more than 70 percent of our export earnings.

Petroleum is the largest share. And will still be for a while.

But we will use our experience and expertise in other ocean industries.

And develop new areas.


We have done it before.

We have been a leading shipping and fishing nation for centuries.

When we first struck oil in 1969, we knew very little about petroleum.

But we knew the ocean – so we learned oil. Fast.  

And when oil prices dropped a few years ago,

and orders from the oil industry dried out:

Our shipyards used their competence from the North Sea to construct the world's first gas-driven ferry, the first electric ferry and the first electric fishing boat. In the world's most expensive country. 

And we will do it again.

Our ocean industries are getting harder to separate.

Petroleum, seafood and the maritime industry are merging.

It is now time to talk about one ocean industry.

Cooperation and synergies between our ocean industries is our new competitive edge.

Technology from the oil industry is our "new oil".

That will give us new blue-green growth and blue-green jobs.

From traditional oil and gas suppliers like Aker Solutions, Kværner and Aibel. Who are now working on new aquaculture solutions.

Together with fish farmers, maritime design and engineering companies.

To entrepreneurs like Arne Kjørsvik and his team at Eelume.

A spinoff from NTNU.

In collaboration with Sintef, Kongsberg Maritime and Statoil,

they have developed a unique snake robot vehicle.

With a mission to reshape underwater operations.

In the ocean industry.


This is how we create jobs in Norway.

This is how Norway can help solving global problems:

  • Reducing carbon emissions.
  • Solving health problems.
  • Feeding the hungry.

The world population is growing, and so does the need for nutritious food.

Today, less than 5 percent of the world's food supply comes from the ocean.

We need to increase that share.


And not to forget:

Blue growth has to be green. 

Norway has harvested from the ocean's resources for centuries –

without reducing their value.

We have shown that green growth is no longer a contradiction in terms.

It is becoming reality.

And that is good news.

Because, as the French President said to the US Congress two weeks ago:

There is no Planet B. We have to make this planet great again.

And Norway is taking an international lead.

To prevent choking our oceans.

To keep the ocean clean, healthy – and productive.

We are protecting the Law of the Sea.

We are supporting the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development from 2021.

We are the first government sponsor of the UN Global Compact,

promoting sustainable businesses around the world.

We have established a high-level panel on sustainability at sea, led by Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

And next year, we will host the international Our Oceans Conference. 


Norway will continue to show leadership.

But we have to do even better.

We need more ocean innovators, ocean investors,

ocean start-ups, and ocean entrepreneurs.

From NTNU, from Trondheim, and all over Norway.

We have a complete maritime cluster – we are the maritime Silicon Valley!

We have the second longest coastline in the world,

perfect for aquaculture and fisheries.

We have world-leading ocean competence and technology. Right here.

We have the knowledge, the experience and the skill –

and above all – we have the will.

My job as minister – and our job as a government – is to make it easy.

For our future ocean heroes.

Thank you.


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