Norwegian aquaculture is one of the most important industries in Norway with large implications for settlement and employment along our coast. Norges Vel's is supporting this industry by working with nature based business development and local value creation within aquaculture.
Ever since it started Norges Vel was engaged in promoting Norwegian aquaculture. In the 1860s we supported projects for fish hatching, artificial hatching of lobster roe and oyster breeding. Many years later, we were a part of establishing fish farming practices. Today we are on the cusp of creating a new and sustainable algaeculture. These are just a few examples of how Norges Vel does its part to make local enterprises successful in creating values and jobs.
Local ownership - Local value created
Thriving communities are completely dependent on local businesses and employment opportunities. Falling populations in communities are often because of a lack of jobs. Primary resource utilisation is important for employment and a sustainable community in the districts. By building up local employment opportunities and local ownership of resources, Norges Vel is contributing to the fact that value created locally stays local.
Commercial farming of kelp is a completely new phenomenon within the aquaculture of Norway. In 2010 Norges Vel took the initiative to develop it as a new and sustainable industry with many new jobs opening up along the Norwegian coast.
From research to business development
Norges Vel takes the role of a research and development department for small businesses. Implementing the results of research is an important factor to succeeding in new endavours. But smaller businesses and entrepreneurs, especially in the start up phase, often lack the resources to do their own research and development. Together with the industry we define their requirements for research, seek financing as well as the people with the correct competence to do the research.
On a mission from Seaweed AS Norges Vel took the responsability for the application process in the Regional Forskingsfond Vest in cooperation with SINTEF Fiskeri og Havbruk AS, The National Institute for nutrition and seafood research, and Nofima AS. As a result of the project, a supply chain was startet at Seaweed AS for farming kelp and developing safe food products for national and international markets. Multiple customers are already in the process of trying the nutritious and healthy products from the sea.
Cultural heritage along the coast
Throughout history large parts of the population of Norway have made their livelihood from the sea. This has created a large number of cultural heritage sites along the coast.
Via the project «New businesses in old coastal buildings» Norges Vel has contributed to new revenue being created for the old boathouses without the buildings losing their distinct style. By designating the boathouses as overnight stops for the Fjord Pilgrim Route, they have a use for the tourists on a pilgrimage. We also connect coastal culture and crafts centres (economuseums) so that tourists get a unique experience along the way.
Cooperative solutions for a new business
Norges Vel contributes to developing new, creative cooperative solutions for partnerships, strategic alliances and the building up of strong local supply chains that secure both employment and wealth benefits for the business as well as its surrounding area. Good cooperation between smaller businesses is vital to create a sustainable industry and to avoid that businesses outperform each other.
Cooperation between competing businesses is important to guarantee the quality and delivery reliance of algae for food from Norway. Through Norges Vels work on developing the market for kelp that is meant for foods, the Norwegian kelp farming association was established in 2017. This is a continuation of the cooperation that we established between 6 kelp farmers along the Norwegian coast in 2011. Within Algaculture we also took the initiative for the international network cooperative ALGET (algae establishers) that consists of businesses along the north Atlantic coast.