The challenge now, it emerged, was translating willpower into genuine momentum, creating the infrastructure, support and incentives to enable sustainable commercial transformation within the ocean space.
High level enthusiasm
Ocean Now ran from 1-2 June, attracting online attendees from all major maritime hubs, while gathering small physical audiences for activities such as the Nor-Shipping Hydrogen Blue Talks – Fuelling the Future conference (also live-streamed). High level participants spanned government ministers, UN representatives, energy experts, and a who’s who of business leaders, including names such as Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Chairman, BW Group, Remi Eriksen, CEO, DNV, Thomas Wilhelmsen, CEO, Wilhelmsen Group, and Kjerstin Braathen, CEO, DNB, to name just a few.
The hydrogen conference assessed the potential, risks and rewards of backing hydrogen as shipping’s future fuel, while mapping out the strategies, and support, required to accelerate the industry’s essential energy transition. High profile participants included figures such as Jarand Rystad, CEO, Rystad Energy, Hege Økland, CEO NCE Maritime Cleantech, Stuart McKay, Head of Hydrogen Policy, Scottish Government, Bjørn Simonsen, CEO Saga Pure, and Thina Saltvedt, Chief Analyst in Sustainable Finance at Nordea, to name a few.
Nor-Shipping Director Karen Algaard says the enthusiasm shown for the Ocean Now initiative speaks for itself.
“We were forced to postpone Nor-Shipping, but we won’t, and can’t, be forced into a state of inaction, choosing to ‘wait and see’; maintaining course while the world around us is in a state of flux,” she comments. “That’s not the right decision for Nor-Shipping as a global event, and it’s certainly not the right decision for the industry we support – an industry facing real challenges, but also genuine opportunities.
“The interest, participation and excitement for Ocean Now provides proof of concept. We saw real ocean leaders not only coming together to represent their organisations, but passionately engaging in key themes. Those included the energy transition, financing the future, charting the regulatory horizon, and how they can work together when necessary, but also enhance progress through competition, to deliver the products, services and innovations the world demands. You could feel the electricity through the screen at times. I thought it was a great advertisement for a new way of working together.”
First for business
Despite the success of the programme, which also included the industry’s first dedicated business talk show – The Today Show by Nor-Shipping – Nor-Shipping is committed to consolidating its position as the leading physical meeting place for ocean businesses, with the next global gathering taking place in Oslo and Lillestrøm 10-13 January, 2022.
Algaard and fellow Director Per Martin Tanggaard used an appearance on The Today Show to reiterate this commitment, discussing new additions to the activity calendar (such as an offshore wind conference) and the prospect of a “winter wonderland” Nor-Shipping, with tailored events, networking activities, and the excitement of being the entire industry’s first meeting place post pandemic.
“The success of Nor-Shipping has been built on our platform of providing a face-to-face arena where the industry can connect, build relationships and unlock new business opportunities together,” comments Tanggaard. “We see Ocean Now as a complementary initiative rather an alternative – a new tool that can be utilised to create value for our audience and support their business ambitions, while also building anticipation for Nor-Shipping itself and the chance to, finally, see one another once again.
“I think the one thing that Ocean Now has made clear is the passion we all share for progress and sustainable success. And that’s something we can’t achieve in isolation. We need one another – and one another’s expertise, experience and assets – to enable the future we want, and society demands. It’ll be interesting to see how the discussions we’ve seen this week can evolve into action and activity we can help showcase and support at Nor-Shipping 2022. I can’t wait. And I know I’m not alone.”
Relive Ocean Now 2021
Ocean Now also featured partner events from DNV, DNB, Skuld, KONGSBERG, Jotun, TradeWinds, Norwegian Maritime Authority together with Maritime Bergen and WISTA Norway, Norwegian Business Association Singapore, in partnership with Innovation Norway, Norwegian Embassy in Singapore and Singapore Norway Chamber of Commerce, Norwegian Shipowners Association and ABRAN/NSA Brazil, and also a high level UNGC debate on shipping’s green transition and much more.