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New Sustainable Maritime Catapult Center

NCE Maritime CleanTech, a business cluster in which The Switch Norway is active, is establishing a new Norwegian catapult centre to build expertise and testing facilities for the partner organisations in the cluster. The centre aims to make the Norwegian maritime industry greener, smarter, and more innovative.

The Sustainable Maritime Norwegian Catapult Center was announced as one of the three winners among the fifteen business clusters that applied to Siva, the Industrial Development Corporation of Norway, for funding a new catapult arrangement.

The initiative started as a wish from The Switch Norway, one of Europe’s largest privately-owned testing centres for marine power electronics.

“Access to the physical infrastructure for development and innovation is of major strategic importance for our competitiveness and future value creation in the marine industry. This catapult centre will be an important learning area to help us create more innovation and strengthen Norway’s position as a marine nation,” says Mr Asbjørn Halsebakke, General Manager of The Switch Norway.

The Sustainable Maritime Norwegian Catapult Center will give industry players access to facilities for testing sustainable energy systems, such as battery, fuel cell, and hybrid technologies, as well as for receiving help with prototyping and piloting. The centre also provides opportunities to test new technology on operational vessels. Norled AS, Knutsen OAS AS, and Solstad ASA have all provided vessels for this purpose.

Stricter emissions regulations for ships and the ambitious Norwegian targets of reducing emissions by 40% from the non-quota sector by 2030 require a major shift in both energy and technology. This calls for an increasing need for test centres to help accelerate the transition to renewable energy. NCE Maritime CleanTech will be responsible for pooling the relevant competence and test facilities for the joint venture.

Catapult schemes are financed by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and are handled by Siva in cooperation with the Research Council and Innovation Norway. The other two winning catapult initiatives will be supported by Bergen Technology Transfer and ÅKP Blue Innovation Arena. The Norwegian government has awarded over EUR 13 million for catapult centres in 2018.

The Switch Norway will be exhibiting at Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo 2018, at booth E4030.