The Maritime Cluster of West Sweden – a tool for regional development




Technology and robotics takes a leap

The Swedish Centre for Ocean Observing Technology (SCOOT) is an initiative that brings together small and medium enterprises with leading academic institutions into a central space designed to promote innovation and the use of cutting edge marine observing technology and robotics

The state-of-the-art centre will be located strategically in Gothenburg to support university-industry-management collaboration committed to create advanced technological development, nurture a critical mass in technical and engineering capacity and spur advancing our knowledge through R&D activities and innovation.


SSPA combines hydrodynamic testing facilities with extensive knowledge of hydrodynamics, design experience within the field of Naval Architecture and CFD to offer assistance in the design and testing of Ocean Energy Conversion (OEC) devices

WHAT DO THEY OFFER? Key facilities to this end are Marine Dynamics Laboratory (wave basin), towing tank and cavitation tank, making it possible to test more or less any OEC device, ranging from tidal/current devices to wave energy devices.

Region Västra Götaland’s Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3) is an integrated part of the regional strategy for growth and development in Västra Götaland 2014-2020

The organisation sets out an ambition to become a leading knowledge and industrial region with world renowned research and innovation within prioritised sectors such as Life Science, Sustainable Transportation, Green Chemistry and the Marine Environment and Maritime Sector.


The Region has been working with the maritime sector for more than a decade and have worked parallel with EU policy, regionalising it to fit the way the sector looks in the region. In 2008, VGR adopted its first strategy for the maritime sector, which was updated in 2015. They also conducted an in-depth analysis of the maritime sector in the region.

The report suggested the Region continued to work with the maritime sector, focusing on six areas; maritime operations, maritime tourism, seafood, marine biotechnology, ocean governance and marine energy and to continue the


work in form of a triple helix cluster. Hence, since 2013 they have been working through a cooperation platform called the Maritime Cluster of West Sweden. The work in the field of marine energy is largely represented by the platform Offshore Väst and Ocean Energy Sweden.


This cluster is partly financed by public funding provided by the Region of Västra Götaland. In June 2016, the Region adopted an action plan with a dedicated budget for a sustainable maritime sector. The Maritime Cluster is one important tool for its implementation.

BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS Gathering regional partcipants from the maritime sector has proven a successful method, but one that requires long-term engagement and building partnerships and trust between individuals as well as organisations. The Cluster has subsequently grown to be an important voice also on the national scale, and is starting to connect internationally.

A cluster in itself may exchange ideas and knowledge with other clusters around Europe and the world and thus

may provide new knowledge, contacts and opportunities to the regional and local level.

BENEFITS The cluster offers partnership with aim to develop maritime competence and business growth, a possibility to cooperate, initiate projects and create hubs for knowledge exchange and transfer between industry, academia and public sector. The participants in the cluster believe in crosspollination between the different focus areas.

The cluster also believes in the importance of working together with other sectors such as chemical industry, life science, transport and digitalisation. Amongst the partners and networks, the cluster has a broad range of knowledge and competences and are always looking for opportunities to spread this knowledge and participate in projects relevant to the partners.

Maritima Klustret

BRIDGING THE GAP Core to SCOOT is bridging the current gap between scientific and engineering disciplines, set within a marine domain need for advancing technologies for basic and applied science, industrial activities and monitoring. SCOOT aims to be integrated with university infrastructure and expertise, connected to the growing needs of the marine industry, as well as to government institutions. This will create a synergetic environment that is aligned to promote R&D and open up business and job opportunities.

LOCAL PSYCHE AND CULTURE The facility is a resource that should be utilised to actively stimulate collaboration between parties in marine activities, especially given that it is in a Swedish setting where the marine environment is such a critical part of the local psyche and culture in Western Sweden.

STRATEGIC NEED There are currently no private-public partnerships bringing together expertise in marine technology in Sweden. An international perspective previously placed Sweden critically behind in the area of advanced marine technology and robotic capability. This domain is becoming an ever-important strategic need for the country if it is to maintain world-class activities in marine and climate sciences, technological development for the needs of industry and the blue economy.


These new capabilities attract experts that promote education and advance human resource development in the scarce, but critical, skills of marine technology, robotics engineering and scientific sensor development.

Current partners are University of Gothenburg, MMT AB, SMHI and Chalmers.

Swedish Centre for Ocean Observing Technology

Beyond just testing and model/measurement manufacturing, SSPA also offers consultancy for design or design improvement utilising their vast experience in hydrodynamic design, often in connection with the use of CFD. The organisation’s bridge simulator can also be used for safety/risk assessment of the devices either individually or in an OEC park.

CURRENT OEC PROJECTS SSPA has acted as a consultant or research partner in several OEC projects over the years and is currently involved in three OEC-related research projects…

• PowerKite (EU research project)

• Cost Efficiency of Marine Energy Conversion (Swedish Energy Agency)

• MaRINET2 (EU research project)

All of the above projects use the organisation’s testing facilities in connection with measuring support, hydrodynamic design or CFD. Testing the devices in downscaled but realistic conditions improves the reliability of the performance prediction of the device.

NEXT STEPS SSPA has been improving the design of vessels to save energy for decades. The leap from hydrodynamic design and testing of vessels to hydrodynamic design and testing of OEC units is not a large one.

A general understanding of hydrodynamics can offer a wide variety of testing facilities, model construction, advanced measurement methods, CFD, propeller/turbine design, simulation of installation and service and risk/safety assessments. To support this development, SSPA therefore actively seeks projects within the area of OEC both as a research partner and for commercial consultancy.


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