WEF Maritime Hub to Drive Fourth Industrial Revolution


The Aker group and the World Economic Forum (WEF) will develop what they call the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Norway (C4IR Norway), as part of efforts to preserve the ocean through advanced technology.

Through the partnerships, the Centre aims to develop governance frameworks and solutions for a sustainable and profitable ocean economy, using digital technology ranging from Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Blockchain.

The Centre will provide a platform for partnerships on governance policies, research and business solutions that can stimulate the application of science, data and technology in the public interest.

The C4IR Norway will join the WEF’s global C4IR Network and collaborate with the Government of Norway and the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy.

The Centre will be an independent non-profit foundation, financed initially by founding partner the Aker group.

According to a statement, Aker has gained valuable experience through engaging in cross-sector partnering between its own commercial and non-profit entities, such as REV Ocean, Ocean Data Foundation and VI Foundation. Once operational, the Centre will be open to new partners and projects from both the public and the private sector.

Aker President and CEO Øyvind Eriksen, “Throughout its 180-year history, the Aker group has been a driving force in the development of knowledge-based industry related to ocean resources.

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“The ambition with this Centre is to leverage our offshore expertise and the Nordic model of collaboration between the public and the private sector to accelerate the application of technology that can reduce the industry’s environmental footprint. 

“Only through collaboration between business, government and NGOs will we unlock the great potential that resides in digital technology to promote sustainable development – for our societies, for value-creation and for the environment.

Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s Special Envoy to the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, said, “Building a sustainable ocean economy is one of the most important tasks and greatest opportunities of our time. To mitigate the threats to a healthy and productive ocean, we need to move faster.

“The Norwegian government welcomes the new technology centre at Fornebu as an essential contribution to ocean health and wealth. It can bring together actors from business, academia and civil society in developing ground-breaking ocean solutions.

Across all the projects, C4IR Norway aims to showcase best practice among policymakers, industry practitioners, scientists and innovators; spread awareness; build knowledge and networks; promote solutions and share lessons learned.

Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum, said, “We have an opportunity to shape the future of emerging technology and the future of our planet.

“The new Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Norway will bring together some of the world’s top minds to co-design innovation policy solutions to achieve the SDGs and protect our ocean. Powered by the Forum’s international network of Centres, this Affiliate will be able to accelerate and scale quickly.”

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