(Reykjavik, Iceland: 30 Oct. 2014) The North Atlantic Ocean Cluster Alliance (NAOCA) gathered in Reykjavik, Iceland, October 30 to discuss mutual projects and cooperation. The alliance consists of clusters and organizations from Norway, Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Denmark and Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. At the meeting in Reykjavik, The New England Ocean Cluster, a new American cluster initiative from Maine, joined the Alliance.
The Reykjavik meeting focused primarily on the full utilisation of fish harvested from the North Atlantic. At the meeting delegates discussed possible exchanges of ideas and technology to better utilize raw material from various species such as whitefish, salmon and lobster through efficient processing and reduction of waste through the utilization of by-products such as enzymes and liver oil.
Two delegates represented Newfoundland and Labrador. Attending on behalf of government was Brian Burke, ADM for Ocean Technology with the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development. Attending on behalf of the ocean technology (OT) cluster was Barry Snow, Executive Director of OceansAdvance Inc. Snow says he found the personal contacts and B2B meetings particularly useful in identifying opportunities for the OT sector in the province. “The whole issue of effective use of our fisheries resources is one of great importance and an area where innovation in technology and in international partnerships could translate into greater sustainability in harvesting, processing and business growth,” said Snow.
The meeting in Reykjavik demonstrated that, for ocean-related business, the members of NAOCA are keen to support and encourage a higher level of cooperation and collaboration among the seven countries. At the B2B meetings, for example, the members identified areas of business potential where two or more parties in the cluster could profit from increased cooperation and knowledge sharing such as: education, off-shore, aquaculture, shipping and transport, and full utilization.
Also on the agenda at the Reykjavik meeting were ongoing NAOCA alliance projects including cooperation between Faroe Islands and Iceland regarding an interactive web platform for project sharing between students and companies; collaboration between Iceland and US regarding the formation of the New England Ocean Cluster; and technology transfer between different industries in full utilisation of fish.
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The members of the alliance are: NCE Aquaculture (Norway), Maritime Development Center of Europe (Denmark), Vinnuhúsið (Faroe Islands), KNAPK (Greenland), Oceans Advance (Newfoundland and Labrador), New England Ocean Cluster (USA) and the Iceland Ocean Cluster.
The objective of the alliance is to support growth and development in ocean-related fields by increasing international cooperation. Furthermore, the alliance will serve as a platform for distributing knowledge and identifying new business opportunities.
The members of the alliance work together in identifying areas where the clusters can collaborate to develop and implement initiatives related to information sharing, research and development, partnerships and business development opportunities.