A new centre that aims to harness the advances of technology to preserve the ocean and improve the environmental footprint of ocean industries has been launched in Norway.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) and Aker Group announced the establishment of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Norway (C4IR Norway) dedicated to harness digital innovation for a sustainable and profitable ocean economy.
The Centre’s initial projects will fall into three categories: minimising the environmental footprint of ocean-related industrial activities, harnessing big data to optimise marine resource mapping, monitoring and management and using digital technology tools to protect marine biodiversity.
The C4IR Norway will join the WEF’s global C4IR Network and collaborate with the Government of Norway and the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy.
The Centre, an independent non-profit foundation, will provide a platform for partnerships on government policies, research and business solutions that can accelerate the application of science, data and technology.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates the value of the ocean economy could exceed $3 trillion (£2.4tn) by 2030, providing more than 40 million jobs.
However, fulfilling the potential will require safeguarding and improving the health of the ocean.
Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s Special Envoy to the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy said: “Building a sustainable ocean economy is one of the most important tasks and greatest opportunities of our time. To mitigate the threats to a healthy and productive ocean, we need to move faster.
“The Norwegian Government welcomes the new technology centre at Fornebu as an essential contribution to ocean health and wealth. It can bring together actors from business, academia and civil society in developing ground-breaking ocean solutions.”
Aker President and CEO Øyvind Eriksen added: “The ambition with this Centre is to leverage our offshore expertise and the Nordic model of collaboration between the public and the private sector to accelerate the application of technology that can reduce the industry’s environmental footprint.
“Only through collaboration between business, government and NGOs will we unlock the great potential that resides in digital technology to promote sustainable development – for our societies, for value-creation and or the environment.”