The increased possibilities for shipping in the Arctic are opening up new business opportunities in the North Atlantic. However, this demands systematic, research-based knowledge sharing and innovation. DTU will therefore be teaming up with Copenhagen Business School and the business community to develop a platform that will allow fulfilment of the commercial potential for the commonwealth maritime industry.
An increase in maritime activities in the Arctic region may potentially have a positive effect on a relatively large proportion of the commonwealth workforce. The Danish workforce employed in the maritime industry, including the production side, is estimated at around 13 per cent of the total workforce, while the figures for Greenland and the Faeroe Islands are substantially higher.
The partnership project has been entitled the ‘Arctic Maritime Platform’ and centres on bringing two specific measures into play: First, work will be done to formalize working relationships between companies, research institutions and public sector players, with a view to promoting knowledge sharing and new initiatives.
Second, the skills of both Danish and Greenlandic workforces are to be improved through education—in the fields of navigating the icy coastal waters, safety, and technology designed specifically for Arctic conditions, for example.
Polar DTU, DTU Maritime Center and DTU Management Engineering are to work together to create a platform for initiatives in these categories. Ingrid Marie Vincent Andersen, Head of DTU Maritime Center, explains:
“Our platform is a network partnership comprising representatives of the private sector business community, research and education institutions and public sector authorities of relevance to the maritime industry. DTU has received a grant from the Danish Maritime Fund to conduct the preliminary work for this platform, and will be involving skills areas from various DTU departments.”
New capacity for the future
Exploration activities in Greenland have been in decline in recent years. This applies to both onshore and offshore companies, which scaled back their activities in Greenland and other Arctic regions last year for reasons including falling commodity prices.
However, this does not make the project less relevant—quite the opposite, as Sune Nordentoft Lauritsen, Head of Secretariat for Polar DTU, explains.
“Experience dictates that such periods can be used constructively to build up capacity that will ensure growth, efficiency, and jobs when the situation turns favourable once more. We want to use this project to contribute to such growth by identifying and establishing specific positions of strength for the maritime industry throughout the commonwealth,” he says.