The Norwegian maritime cluster has features that constitute a typical global knowledge hub. The maritime cluster for Norway has various global actors in sectors like shipping, technology, organizations, research, shipbuilding specialization, energy, as well as commerce. The government of Norway has developed a strong offshore and maritime cluster with a modern knowledge base covering marine resource governance, fisheries management, shipping, marine operations as well as offshore gas and marine management. There is the combination of technology, innovation, as well as knowledge in the Norwegian maritime cluster. To advance in being a global knowledge hub, Norway has to come up with specialized knowledge infrastructures for attracting technology and talent at a global level. This paper analyzes the offshore and maritime cluster of Norway as a global knowledge hub. Thematic analysis of the discussion focuses on Global Competitive Index, Emerald Model, Competitiveness of Norway and its ocean cluster competitiveness as well as the upgrading recommendations.
Analysis of the Global Competitiveness Index Regarding Norwegian Maritime Cluster
Norwegian offshore and maritime services and operations are competitive per some building blocks of the global competitive index. The outstanding pillars of Global Competitive index found in Norwegian offshore and maritime are mainly institutions, infrastructure, research, macroeconomic frameworks that are stable, higher education as well as the application of available technologies. Norwegian maritime sector has the characteristics of a maritime industrial cluster per the building blocks of the global competitive index (Koliousis et al., 2017). There is the shift from industrial development through manufacturing to technology and knowledge in the Norwegian maritime as an industrial cluster. Most of the services and operations of Norwegian maritime cluster are knowledge and technology-based replacing the manufacturing basis of development (Doloreux, 2017). The government with other critical stakeholders in the maritime sector is working out to adopt global competitive index building blocks inquest towards developing Norway into a global maritime knowledge hub.
Firstly, a global maritime knowledge hub requires a stronger focus on international research talent. According to Stavroulakis and Papadimitriou (2016), there is a campaign by scholars and the government in fostering towards research and training in higher education in matters of maritime services. Norwegian universities are working out to ensure that learners in pursuing maritime courses receive sponsorship to advance their knowledge in marine services operations. There is an investment in higher education research and training as a building block of the global competitive index in making Norway a center for a global maritime knowledge. For instance, in 2016/2017, there were 15 maritime sponsorships to students in the field of Maritime (Isaksen, 2013). The sector will lead to the development of Norway into a global maritime hub through the establishment of active higher education training and research networks. There is the involvement of key institutions in the creation of active higher education and research initiatives forming a collaboration between learning institutions, sponsors as well as maritime organizations.
A characteristic global maritime knowledge center will place higher education training, research as well as innovation at the center to link knowledge with other building blocks of global competitiveness index. Knowledge development through research and higher education training helps in connecting knowledge to competent investors, efficient labor markets as well as appropriate infrastructure (Kind & Strandenes, 2012). By developing a maritime knowledge, there is the emergence of competent capital, appropriate infrastructure, as well as efficient labor markets. As a result, knowledge together with technology will help in developing Norway maritime sectors like shipping and offshore services. The outcome is the shift from maritime cluster into a global maritime knowledge center. Through research, higher education training, and innovation, Norway will have efficient investors and venture capital that ultimately offers stable ship, offshore as well as shipping services (Engelseth, 2017). Knowledge through research, innovation as well as higher education training allows for the presence of technology, talents or economics needed in creating a global maritime knowledge hub.
Knowledge and technology are significant in the development of a global maritime knowledge center in connecting public research institutions (PROs) with the offshore and maritime cluster. Stavroulakis and Papadimitriou (2016) argued that well-equipped educational institutions with state of the art research labs, testing and test equipment, Information Technology centers, business development units as well as a well-coordinated communication system, show modern knowledge infrastructures. A modern knowledge center in Norway like the upcoming Ocean Space Center proposed to get set up at NTNU together with the MARINTEK development at Trondheim will contribute to the establishment of a global knowledge hub with a maritime cluster specialization (Hammervoll, Halse & Engelseth, 2014). Public research organizations offer knowledge through research to maritime cluster by offering an environment for scientific experiments. Therefore, research and development infrastructure is the basis for a modern knowledge acquisition and application in a global maritime knowledge hub.
The provision of a stable macroeconomic framework as part of the global competitiveness index is a definition of a global knowledge hub in the maritime cluster. The aspect of a competent risk capital characterizes the macroeconomic competitiveness of a typical marine sector in pursuit of becoming a global knowledge hub (Koliousis et al., 2017). A stable macro environment will allow the development of investment from various parts of the world. Global investors in the maritime cluster in Norway include oil companies, ship owners, investment banks, as well as risk capital organizations. There is the establishment of a stable macroeconomic framework that favors the investors from various parts of the world in Norwegian maritime cluster. There is the establishment of Maritime Knowledge Firms in Norway that have found profitable market opportunities for their new technologies and modern offshore services. Some of the international firms that operate in the Norwegian marine sector have modern knowledge basis like the spin-offs that are mostly seen in multinational organizations that are well established (Doloreux, 2017). Small firms are mostly startups that are taking up the knowledge basis model in arriving at market opportunities.
Like any other global knowledge hub, Norway depends on global institutions as a pillar of the global competitiveness index. Following Stavroulakis and Papadimitriou (2016), Norwegian maritime cluster is a dependence of the global maritime corporations in ship shipping, shipping as well as offshore services. Global maritime corporations operate on a large scale with the capacity to hire many people from various parts of the world. As well global maritime corporation has a common characteristic of a strong capital base in comparison with independent marine companies. As envisaged in the global competitiveness index pillar of stability in running macroeconomics, Norwegian maritime is globally competitive by allowing the operation of global maritime corporations. The sector allows investment from across the works by depending on the global maritime corporations that operate as multinational organizations whose innovation and technology are modern knowledge. Some of the transnational actors operating in the Norwegian maritime sectors are Shell and BW Shipping. Multinational corporations have benefitted from the modern knowledge in maritime found in Norway and have in return supported research and innovation (Isaksen, 2013). Knowledge support from multinational Companies included the placing or acquisition of research centers of Excellence in Norway.
The other way in which Norwegian maritime cluster is globally competitive as per the global competitiveness index is the attraction of a more significant number of specialized service suppliers. The sector has attracted many specialized service supplier from Norway and other countries (Koliousis et al., 2017). Supplies outsourced offer operational support services and activities needed by the cluster. The sector is a wider service and activity supplier that utilize the set infrastructure as well as effective labor market in harnessing the advantages of available technologies (Engelseth, 2017). When critically analyzed, it is evident that the support and service firms outsourced to the sector created many jobs to both the Norwegian and non-Norwegians.
The presence of institutions for collaborations is also a way in which the Norwegian maritime cluster makes up a distinctive global knowledge hub. Isaksen (2013) discussed that Norwegian maritime network organizations offer opportunities for establishing knowledge networks to represent the sector in its external relationships. Some of the maritime network organizations in operation in Norway include Maritime Forum, Norwegian Ship Owners Association, NCE Maritime, as well as Oslo Maritime Network (Doloreux, 2017). Such collaborative institutions represent the pillar of the formation of bodies as stated in the global competitiveness index.
Lastly, there is the policing aspect that characterizes maritime cluster as a global maritime knowledge hub. Policing helps in regulating the services, activities as well as operations in the maritime sector in Norway (Isaksen, 2013). There are regulatory bodies at both the international and national levels that govern the operations of the cluster. Some of the regulating policies at the national level are within the Norwegian Ministry of cluster and trade as well as the Norwegian Maritime Directorates (Stavroulakis & Papadimitriou, 2016). At the international levels, Norway complies with the standards and regulations set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The policies are significant in ensuring the development, implementation, as well as compliance with the set maritime regulations and standards for a characteristic global maritime knowledge hub.
Using Emerald Model in Assessing Norwegian Maritime Cluster as Global Knowledge Hub
Currently, maritime cluster in Norway maritime cluster characteristically constitutes a global knowledge hub by following the Emerald Model. Firstly, Norway is currently having as strong ship design, maritime equipment, ship buildings as well as maritime services technologies that are competitive (Doloreux, 2017). The technologies applied by Norway are advanced in innovation and application of modern knowledge and talents. Of the maritime operations and practices, Norway has outstandingly specialized in the shipbuilding sector. For instance, Ulstein Shipbuilding Company found on an island located outside Aalesund is globally by its advanced and innovative X-bow designs in the supply vessels (Koliousis et al., 2017). Norway has advanced over time in the technology of shipbuilding. The country began with the use of ferries and fishing vessels, to the use of conventional ships, to specialized chemical tankers, to supply vessels that were advanced and to the current research vessels that are with modern technology.
The other current development that...
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