It’s been quite a thrilling few weeks as the New Bedford Ocean Cluster (NBOC) made a splash on the world stage by first traveling to Europe and then finalizing plans for a very special visit to New Bedford by a legend in the global ocean cluster community.
Let’s start in Denmark…
The #NBOC and six local companies participated in a field trip to Denmark April 23-28 to take a deep dive into the Danish energy value chain, covering wind energy production, innovation, and infrastructure. Over the course of the week, the U.S. delegation (which represented 42 companies working in wind) visited Bladt Industries and Liftra in Aalborg; DTU Wind Energy research institute in Thy; and the Port of Esbjerg, which included stops at Blue Water Shipping and Semco. The week ended with two days at the WindEurope Conference in Copenhagen. The NBOC also had the opportunity to catch up with its partners at NOF and Energy Cluster Denmark, as well as connect with DWP System Supplier and learn about their impressive network of suppliers.
“We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to represent New Bedford at WindEurope 2023,” says Jennifer Downing, Executive Director of the New Bedford Ocean Cluster. “The conference was a great opportunity to experience one of the most successful offshore wind industries in the world up close, and to connect New Bedford – the site of America’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm – to other leaders in the field.”
WindEurope is a leading trade association in the European wind energy industry. The WindEurope Conference is a major event that brings together industry leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders to discuss the latest trends and innovations in the wind energy sector. The conference provides a platform for networking, sharing knowledge, and exploring business opportunities in the industry.
“I think the trip was a big success,” reflects Downing, “as our companies from New Bedford gained valuable insights into the latest trends in the wind energy industry and had the opportunity to participate in a series of one-on-one business meetings with Danish companies to showcase their products, services, and explore partnership opportunities.”
Leaving jet lag behind, as soon as Downing arrived back in the United States, she dove into finalizing plans for a visit to New Bedford by Thor Sigfusson, Founder of the Iceland Ocean Cluster on May 17. During his visit to New Bedford, Sigfusson will share his insights on the IOC’s successful 100% Fish Project with the NBOC’s newly established Fisheries Advisory Committee.
The Iceland Ocean Cluster, which the NBOC in part is modeled after, is a business network that brings together entrepreneurs, scientists, and other stakeholders in the Icelandic marine industry. The cluster fosters collaboration and innovation with a focus on sustainability and responsible resource management. The Iceland Ocean Cluster is a leader in the field of ocean innovation, and its members have developed numerous groundbreaking products and technologies for the marine industry.
Sigfusson has received numerous awards for his contributions to the marine industry, including the Iceland Innovation Prize and the Nordic Council Nature and Environment Prize. He is a sought-after speaker and has given talks at conferences and events around the world on the topics of innovation, sustainability, and responsible resource management in the marine industry.
“The NBOC signed a partnership agreement with the IOC back in 2017 to be a part of the global ocean cluster network. Networks and ideas exchange can be incredibly valuable,” explains Downing. “Having Thor visit New Bedford and meet with local fisheries is all about sharing ideas and successful models that might be able to take shape in the Port and contribute to the advancement of our commercial fishing industry. We don’t have to recreate the wheel and we have good partners like the IOC who want to show us the way.”
- The NBOC team
EVENTS & OPPORTUNITIES of NOTE:
THURSDAY, MAY 18 – SOLD OUT! Offshore Wind Drinks Live is coming to New Bedford! Join the New Bedford Ocean Cluster and our fabulous group of co-hosts for a fun evening of networking, light hors d’oeuvres, and spirits with local offshore wind industry professionals at Cisco Brewers. Contact Jennifer Downing directly to join the wait list.
Thank you to our co-hosts: Coast Line Transfers LLC, Crowley, New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal, Marine Safety Consultants, Inc., Norton Lilly International, Shoreline Offshore, TerraSond Limited, and Vineyard Wind.
PROPOSALS DUE BY JULY 13: The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is soliciting proposals to promote the development and adoption of innovative gear technologies that reduce the risk of lethal or sub-lethal fishing gear entanglement for the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale (NARW) in fixed gear fisheries throughout New England. The Fisheries Innovation Fund (FIF): New England Gear Innovation Fund program is assessing the funding need of the region and will award grants towards that need, providing up to $18 million in grants through this solicitation, pending availability of funding. Find out more here.
RECENT NEWS of #NBOC Interest
DOUBLING DOWN ON OFFSHORE WIND: Healey-Driscoll Administration Files Historic Draft RFP for Massachusetts’ Fourth Offshore Wind Solicitation: The RFP represents the largest ever solicitation in New England at 3,600 MW, more than 25% of the state’s annual electricity demand. Read the Mass.gov news release here.
PERSPECTIVE: MA Gov. Maura Healey wants to double the amount of wind power in the Massachusetts pipeline – officials released a draft proposal asking offshore wind developers for their plans to produce another 3,600 megawatts of offshore wind power. If approved, it would be the biggest-ever solicitation of wind energy in New England history. Read more here.
BUILDING OFFSHORE WIND: “That first barge with blades stacked on it, it will be kind of a ‘holy cow’ moment.” — New Bedford Port Authority Director Gordon Carr in this story from the New Bedford Light.
FISHING AND OFFSHORE WIND WORKING TOGETHER: “Local fishermen bring tremendous value to our operations. Their unique local knowledge and network is a huge part of the successful construction of Vineyard Wind,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Klaus S. Moeller. “This emphasizes that the development of offshore wind would bring opportunities for our industries to work together, and we hope that the precedents we’ve set will become the norm for each and every project.” Via Vineyard Wind; full release here.
SUPPORTING OFFSHORE WIND EMPLOYERS: The MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board (GNBWB) has supported employers by conducting regional welding training and partnering with local area maritime companies that supply services within the offshore wind industry. Read more in this blog post.
OCEAN ENERGY INNOVATION: This project, funded with $300,000 from the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council, is designed to help alternative power developers to learn more about how their systems work in an open ocean environment near shore. Find out more here.
SEAFOOD STRATEGY: Our partners at the New Bedford Port Authority, representing the most profitable fishing port in the country, reviewed and submitted comments pertaining to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries draft National Seafood Strategy as a way to highlight the role and importance the Port of New Bedford plays to the entire seafood industry. Details at this link.
DID YOU KNOW….?
You can join the New Bedford Ocean Cluster and connect with innovators and entrepreneurs who are transforming the ocean economy! From sustainable fishing to the offshore wind industry, together we’re shaping the future of the blue economy. Inquire through our Members page here.
The New Bedford Ocean Cluster maintains an ongoing social media presence on Facebook and LInkedIn. You can “Like” and “Follow” each page to receive news updates throughout the month between newsletters. #NBOC #newbedfordoceancluster