This fall, Parliamentary elections were held in Norway. The Conservative Party (“Høyre”) together with its cooperation parties won the election. NTNU Ocean Club’s media group is curious about the prospects of Norway’s marine industries. We have therefore contacted all the major parties in Norway. Our aim was to investigate how each party envisions the future of Norway’s marine sectors, how they are working to reach these goals and last but not least why students should aspire for a career in the marine sector.
The first contribution comes from Erna Solberg. Erna has been Prime Minister of Norway since 2013, and the leader of the Conservative Party since 2004. Having grown up in Bergen, she has a close, personal relationship to the ocean.
How do you, and the Conservative Party, picture the development of Norwegian ocean industries in the future?
We will continue to build on the fact that Norway already has some of the world's leading ocean industries. These are based on skilled companies and employees, marine resources, advanced technology and smart solutions. Practical experience, coupled with research-based knowledge, will continue to be an important key in technology development and innovation for Norwegian companies, both in existing and future ocean industries.
How can government policy contribute to this development?
Our policy builds upon the companies' competitiveness by facilitating innovation and expertise. One of the most important things we do is create framework conditions allowing oceans to flourish both nationally and internationally. The aim is to highlight the possibilities for business activity in the ocean and to survey how authorities can contribute to sustainable growth, value creation and new, safe jobs in the marine sectors.
Why should students focus on studies that lead to work in the marine sector?
First and foremost because the sea offers great opportunities. Solutions to several of the world's major challenges, such as climate, health, poverty alleviation, food security and energy will depend on sustainable industrial development in and at sea. The OECD estimates that ocean industries will create 40 million jobs and double their contribution to global value creation by 2030. This is what Norway is going to take part in. The ocean should be a source of growth throughout the country, and thus we need students who see these opportunities and want to help to solve the challenges.