MARELIFE is an independent science-based marine innovation network organized on a membership basis. It is one of the few networks worldwide covering all three major industrial bio marine fields: aquaculture, fisheries and marine by-products.
At the same time our membership is truly cross sector, embracing leading international players and trend setters from industry, finance, public and private investors, universities and a range of science and technology organizations.
Stakeholders range from manufacturing and solution providers, start ups and venture companies to R&D organizations and public sector facilitators of innovation and commercialization.
- Legal status: Member Association (in Norwegian "Forening/lag/innretning") Facilitating collaboration between members to create and run membership forums and launch generic projects addressing major challenges and opportunities in the sector, which are too ambitious to be undertaken by individual members.
- Oslo Teknopol, a non-profit regional development agency serves as its secretariat.
To advance the bio marine industry, MARELIFE works along three major tracks:
- Projects: Facilitates collaboration between members with emphasis on installing common research projects, addressing challenges and potentials too big to be handled by individual members
- Commercialization: Assists in the commercialization of ideas and inventions, private/public finance included
- Public financial framework: Strive at optimizing public frameworks for marine research and innovation
MARELIFE has the ambition to contribute to the development of a robust and sustainable biomarine sector which has science-based advancement, diversity and adaptability. To become the international leading innovation network in its field.
Regarding cross-sector synergy MARELIFE has a straight forward strategy:
Fisheries, aquaculture, shipping, tourism, energy all operate in the same ecosystem. MareLife operates in the bio-marine sectors but recently started exploring synergy with the maritime and energy sectors to harvest new innovation potentials. A cross-sector approach can result in considerable cost-savings (e.g. collaborative research to find science-based solutions to shared issues), new dynamics in technology development and reduce the risk of costly, unplanned and unnecessary restrictions to operations in the marine environment.
Marine products originating both from living and fossile resources form the backbone of Norway's export revenues. Our most important future businesses are based on our living ocean resources either through fisheries, aquaculture, industrial ingredients or utilizing marine biological active compounds to a number of new purposes: medicine, new materials and biomedical research. Maintaining the marine industries’ vital position is necessary for securing Norway's future. Fortunately the harvest potential of the Norwegian seas is high.
Realizing cross-fertilizing industries is expected to challenge and strengthen both business and research heavily since marine industries have always operated exclusively. The first and perhaps biggest challenge is to reconcile the industries in an effective marine consortium of expertise, technology and scientific understanding: Long term visions and experience combined with both general and local knowledge. We would like to see our two flagship industries to develop in harmony and cooperation that is based on the ultimate overall competence. Our world-leading fisheries and petroleum industries must therefore collaborate with Norway’s top level marine research.
Ensuring that energy requirements are met without damage to important ocean ecosystems is the near future challenge which needs integrated ocean strategies and partnerships. Wind, wave and tidal energy have recently been added to marine resources. This makes it vital for the energy sector to engage on ocean sustainability issues with the other sectors of the ocean business community such as shipping, fisheries aquaculture and tourism.
Much effort is currently put in optimizing fishing vessels to lower operational costs and decrease fuel consumption. Being the scouts of the oceans, the cargo industry should fully exploit their position and integrate cargo activities fisheries and energy opportunities.
MARELIFE activities are efficiently planned aiming at keeping a good balance between member fee's and activity output.
MARELIFE is currently funded by both private and public money made available through
- Membership fee
- Research Council of Norway (Innovation funds)
- Man hour contribution from Oslo Teknopol, serving as scretariate
- Specific innovation funds