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Core components in marine innovation

Co-founders of BICA, Pierre Erwes (left) and Øystein Lie.  Photo: Magne Otterdal

Co-founders of BICA, Pierre Erwes (left) and Øystein Lie.  Photo: Magne Otterdal

The global umbrella-organization BICA, will aim at upgrading and creating new common denominators to existing networks and clusters, writes Øystein Lie.  

Marine innovation has a clear-cut advantage over other fields in terms of becoming successful: challenge and big challenges.
Challenge is the major driving force in all innovations through history, albeit science and technology progress have been the prerequisites.

We are not just talking challenge but the biggest challenges of mankind: food for the world, health (mal nutrition, life style diseases), energy etc. and the oceans and the aquatic environments harbor all the answers.
But, we also have to optimize our innovation climate.

Innovation climate or “innovation ecosystem” or “innovation coral reef” are terms currently in use now and we need to create substance into these terms. The substance is knowledge and it is all about people at all levels in the value chain or more precisely: value network together with interaction and dialogue between these. Producers, solution providers, R&D entities, public sector, capital and capital and fund managers, creative entrepreneurs, young talents, inspiring communicators, core facilities and innovation centers, clusters and networks.

If we manage to engine and foster new dynamics and synergy in the above virtual construction, we will experience great sustainable advancements in all the marine sectors: fisheries (the new eco fisheries at new trophic levels included), aquaculture, the seafood value chain, marine ingredients and bio prospecting, blue/green cities etc. A newcomer that may pave the way for this “new deal” is the recently established BioMarine International Cluster Association (BICA). The global umbrella-organization, BICA, will aim at upgrading and creating new common denominators to existing networks and clusters. It will extend the marine dialogue platform to a global format, interact with capital in a total new manner to enhance the necessary investment rates to reach our goals (visualization of the market and the best investment targets, risk reduction etc) and represent the marine player community when interacting with regulators on establishing new global standards and practices.

Moreover, the transition of the existing clusters and networks to a common global virtual family will strengthen the innovation dynamics which has proven successful in all knowledge intensive clusters: the crucial interaction between demanding producers and creative solution providers which otherwise will be rendered weak at regional or national levels.
Challenging but still simple. To innovation the major components are:

  • Challenge
  • Innovation climate

One needs these critical components and format in place with corresponding dynamics, to make innovation happen!