The region has world-leading technology, expertise and operations within oil services, especially associated with drilling equipment. The abundance of companies within the sector and the basis of the experienced, talented people, are the key advantages to the sector. In addition the establishment of Mechatronics Innovation Lab (MIL) has made the region interesting to several technology companies that originate from the oil and gas industries including companies, customers and suppliers. There is broad agreement that there can be a great transfer value to other sectors with the same complexity, like for example, offshore wind, solar energy, wave energy, modern mining and transport technology.
Within blue growth there is great potential! The knowledge the companies in the NODE cluster as well as access to sea and ocean give the region the opportunity to further develop ocean industries, for example, through offshore windfarms or new marine industries like, for example, mineral extraction on the seabed, renewable energy from the sea, marine ingredient industry and marine bioprospecting.
The process industry in the region has a long history and remains strong in the Kristiansand region. Many of the businesses have foreign owners, something which shows that southern Norway has expertise that is sought after globally. The process industry companies have formed the Norwegian Center of Expertise Sustainable Process Industry (NCE Eyde). The companies work continuously on research, development, innovation and initiatives to meet challenges in a global market and their impact on the climate and environment. Many of the companies are world-leaders in their areas.
With the IT cluster, Digin, the IT education and academic environments at the University of Agder and the establishment of what will be the world’s largest data park based on renewable energy in Vennesla, the Kristiansand region has an even stronger position within IT and technology
Tourism, adventure and culture
The tourism, adventure and culture industry is another large industry and works together in the industry cluster USUS. The adventure industry is an important growth industry in southern Norway, and the industry has had a positive development in recent years. The summer season is the most important, and the sector has broken its own records in recent seasons. USUS contributes with expertise, interaction, visibility and innovation between the businesses in the cluster. They have worked systematically and had a shared focus on the industry with regard to repeat purchases and the value of existing customers.
Digin, the university’s focus on e-health and Sørlandet Hospital Health Trust are laying the foundation for future technology within health being developed in the region. The local authorities in the region are particularly focusing on welfare technology and positioning the region as the national pilot in this area. In addition the establishment of a national response centre for digital personal safety alarms has been important for attracting and developing expertise in this field.