-Worth its weight in gold for the industry

A new national test center for development of green energy systems is now in operation at Stord. By providing facilities for testing new products and solutions, Sustainable Energy Norwegian catapult center will make Norwegian companies more competitive internationally. BTO is one of the center's owners.

In June of this year, NCE Maritime CleanTech, commissioned by SIVA, was to build a national catapult center for the development of sustainable energy systems for the marine industries. The center has been named Sustainable Energy Norwegian Catapult Center, and was founded on December 20th. It is owned by the Norwegian Maritime Energy Complex, Unitech, Haugaland Kraft, NCE Maritime CleanTech and Bergen Teknologioverføring (BTO).

Through the center, Norwegian industrial companies will have access to leasing equipment and expertise to test different types of sustainable energy systems, such as battery and hydrogen fuel cells.

The center has a wide scope, with expertise from research environments, technology companies and shipping companies. We are now ready to receive companies from all of Norway and help new ideas develop faster, cheaper and less risky, says Willie Wågen, project manager for Sustainable Energy.

Wide range of services

Facilities that are available in the new catapult include The Switch’s test center for marine power electronics at Stord, UNITECH’s technology center at Rubbestadneset, Haugaland Kraft’s micronet on Utsira, ships from several shipping companies, and test facilities at sea at the MetCenter. Sustainable Energy also offers expertise and facilities from a number of research institutions such as University of Bergen, Institute for Energy Technology, Norwegian School of Economics / Institute for Research in Economics and Business Administration and NORCE. In addition, the NCE Maritime CleanTech industry cluster is a vital partner to the new venture together with the Norwegian Marine Energy Complex business network.

By giving companies access to world-class test facilities, the center helps industry to get new products and solutions faster in to the market. The center plays an important role in strengthening Norwegian industry and accelerating the technology development we need to reach our climate goals, says Hege Økland, the chief executive officer of NCE Maritime CleanTech.

Sustainable Energy has been established in record time and took on its first customer in December. Then IKM Technology performed subsea testing of an electric engine in The Switch’s testing center at Stord. The engine will be used in vessels that attach cables to floating offshore projects.

-Having access to such facilities in Norway is worth its weight in gold for small companies like us, who do not have the funds to build up similar facilities themselves. We save both a lot of time and money when we are able to test the product properly before we take it out in the field, says Jostein Reinsnos, managing director of IKM Technology.

First customer at Sustainable Energy test center from NCE Maritime CleanTech on Vimeo.

 BTO involved in to catapult centers

Sustainable Energy is one of two catapult centers Siva has established in Hordaland. The second is the Ocean Innovation Norwegian Catapult Center (OINC) and is a national test-, simulation- and visualisation centre ensuring efficient prototype development, and verification of new solutions, for the ocean industries. OINC is a consortium consisting of GCE Subsea, NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster, Prototech, Industrial Industrial Laboratory (ILAB), University of Bergen, DNV GL, Marineholmen Research Park and Bergen Technology Transfer. Inge Ådland, Senior Business Developer in BTO, is Interim Leader for OINC.

About Norsk Katapult

The Katapult scheme is funded by the Ministry of Food and Fisheries and is handled by Siva in cooperation with the Research Council of Norway and Innovation Norway.
Up to now, five catapult centers have been established in Norway. In addition to Sustainable Energy and the Ocean Innovation Norwegian Catapult Center, there is today a catapult center for material technology, one for production technology and one for simulation, digital twins and virtual prototyping.