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Cross-Atlantic collaboration and capacity building in the blue economy

This week’s Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø has established a new partnership with Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) and the business development environment in the blue bioeconomy in Troms.

The parnership includes Troms and Finnmark County Council (TFFK), Biotech North and Norinnova.

Our first joint effort is to propose a session for the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavík in October. Organizer are OSC and TFFK, and Biotech North will participate as speaker: Cross-Atlantic Collaboration and capacity building in the blue Economy, Bridging the Atlantic Gap – Workshop on best practices and go-forward opportunities.

The proposal is sent today, and Arctic Circle will decide on accepted proposal June 25.

Diverse collaboration between private sector, public sector, communities, and research institutions is an essential element of successful innovation and sustainable economic outcomes in the high north.  Innovation and development activities in remote and northern regions are often complex, and  require flexible, inclusive project structures and support mechanisms.  This cross-Atlantic consortium is conducting a best practices, lessons learned working session on the success factors and models for combining public sector instruments with private sector capital across oceans, with the aim to identify new collaborative, sustainable, and inclusive innovation-driven models to address developing economic opportunities in the high north. In this session, we will explore how to better bridge the Atlantic gap, ensuring that businesses on both sides of the Atlantic can find cross-ocean instruments for blue business development that are interconnected.

This consortium application brings a broad set of experiences and a multi-faceted perspective on international collaboration, as well as commercialization and growth related challenges in Northern and remote regions.  Some areas of current activity of this consortium that are relevant to the Arctic include, but are not limited to:

  • New human health products that leverage the uniqueness of col-water and Arctic marine organisms;
  • Circular ocean economy cross-sectoral concepts that leverage bacteria and algae-based technologies;
  • Integration of renewable energy sources into remote Northern community energy grids;
  • Mobile autonomous system of systems solutions for northern remote community emergency response and coastal management; autonomous systems for remote aquaculture operations;
  • Novel smart fishing harvesting concepts that reduce by-catch;
  • The creation and acceleration of ocean-focused companies that are based in remote ocean communities;
  • Creating and scaling new ocean talent; and
  • Skill and workforce initiatives for early and mid-career indigenous workers and other underrepresented groups. 

The consortium wishes to share and explore how collaborative, circular, and inclusive approaches to doing ocean business can create and augment international partnerships, generate new ideas and companies, grow the ocean economy sustainably, and deliver success in Arctic-focused initiatives.

About Biotech North

Biotech North is a cluster organization located in Tromsø, Norway, which serves the biotechnology and biomarine sectors in Arctic Norway. Cluster organizations contribute to increased value creation in trade and industry by helping to develop expertise and encouraging collaboration within the areas of innovation and internationalization. This includes:

  • Creating arenas for interaction and cooperation among cluster members
  • Profiling the community to the outside world and serving as a broker between cluster members and foreign actors
  • Supporting educational opportunities and entrepreneurial endeavors within the field

About Troms and Finnmark County Council

Troms and Finnmark County Council is the northernmost regional government in Norway.

The Business Development Office at the County Council, works within a broad range of economic development tasks. The office is secretariat for several public development funds, targeting sector wide development projects, like business cluster development, and cross-sector development efforts. A significant amount of the grants is awarded to research, development and innovation projects connecting science and business. The Office is responsible for the infrastructure for innovation in Troms and Finnmark, funding and directing incubators and Innovation Norway. The Business Development office is member of Arctic Economic Council, member of High North Atlantic Business Alliance and in partner in several international project in collaboration with regional governments in Arctic Europe and the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas in EU.

About Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC)

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is a national, industry-led cluster that is changing the way ocean business is done by growing the ocean economy in a digital, sustainable, and inclusive way. With more than 500 members from coast-to-coast-to-coast, the OSC is accelerating the development and commercialization of globally-relevant innovation to help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges in ocean. To date the OSC has approved more than 70 collaborative, cross-sectoral innovation projects and ocean ecosystem building activities with a total value of more than $360M, resulting in more than 110 new ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world and on track to generate 20,000 new jobs by 2030. For more information on Canada’s Ocean Supercluster watch their Canada’s Ocean Opportunity video here or visit their website at oceansupercluster.ca


Photo: Jensen Media. From Workshop at Arctic Frontiers in Tromsø this week: Workshop on the Arctic blue bioeconomy, organised by Troms and Finnmark County Council, Arctic Economic Council, Biotech North and PolArctic

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