Floating structures for the next generation of ocean industries

With a changing climate it is time for change. In the UN’s climate report describes the situation as code red. If we do not meet the climate goals, the outlook is anything but promising.

However, several actors highlight possibilities to change this. Floating ocean wind turbines and other floating structures can be crucial to tackling global climate challenges, and sustainable food production and sustainable coastal infrastructure can be some of the solutions. The research centre SFI BLUES will contribute to this field.

A quarter of the Norwegian value creation stems from ocean industries. Today, a large share comes from the oil industry, but other industries are expecting a significant increase in the coming years. In addition, approximately 40 % of the global population lives close to the ocean, and many people lives are affected by what the ocean can provide. Therefore, it is important for us to take responsibility for the nature around us and develop ocean industries in a sustainable way.

“Many of the ocean industries utilise floating structures, whether it is for energy production, food production, infrastructure or other purposes. SFI BLUES will develop new knowledge and technology to create new types of floating stationary structures. This is important for the further development of today’s ocean industries”, says the centre manager in SFI BLUES, Vegard Øgård Aksnes.

Developing new types of floating structures

Defining which structures the industry should develop and connecting these to research activities at the centre will be key. SFI BLUES will determine how novel marine structures challenge current design methods and design tools and identify any new knowledge and physical understanding required to realise them.

Floating structures can contribute to solving many problems of our time, given that they are developed and put in use in a sustainable manner. Floating structures can be used for renewable energy production (floating offshore wind and floating solar energy facilities), floating aquaculture sites, and coastal infrastructure such as floating tunnels, bridges, terminals, piers, recreational facilities, and cities.

Important for the future

On 26 October the research centre brought together some of the partner’s leading minds to work on realising new floating structures for future ocean industries. The conference was the centre’s first live meeting.

“State-of-the-art knowledge was presented to us by leading researchers within the field. This is essential in order to understand the requirements needed for research via engineering and technology providers to reach end-users and operators. The partners showed great enthusiasm, and the research partners and end-users showed great interest. No doubt it concerned the importance of such a centre,” said Aksnes.