Oslo has played a strong historical role in the shipping industry, continuing this tradition with open communication and healthy competition that makes the region a vibrant learning community for maritime companies. One key organization within this environment is the Oslo Maritime Network (OMN), a non-profit membership network gathering members from all segments of the maritime cluster in Norway’s capital region.
OMN assists member companies in gaining the maximum benefits from an Oslo location. Few cities in the world offer such a complete maritime environment, and the concentration of expertise and experience – combined with the fact that Oslo is Norway’s financial capital – provides an ideal basis for maritime success. With attention focused on international markets and business opportunities, shipping and services in the regional cluster are continuously improved to raise competitive standards.
Continued Local & National Success
Norway has a long history of success and achievement within the maritime industry. In 2007, the country as a whole was ranked as having the fifth largest maritime industry in the world, and the national industry is constantly on the lookout for breakthroughs, technological, environmental, and logistical, with the Oslo region being an important contributor to this national success.
The Oslo Maritime Network functions as an “arena of cooperation” for its 30-plus members regarding innovations and development of ships and equipment, financial services, maritime services - many of these breakthroughs stimulated by cooperation between shipowners and the maritime supplier industry in the Oslo region. The Oslo region in turn works closely with the other regions in the country on various projects, such as the development of Norway as an international maritime knowledge hub (see the related article).
For investors and partners, the strength and the international position of the maritime cluster in Oslo offers many attractive opportunities. As OMN Chairman Morits Skaugen, the CEO of I. M. Skaugen indicates, “Compared to other shipping centers around the world, the cluster environment in the Oslo region is the most complete.”
Strength through Contribution
The OMN main focus is related to innovation, financing, education and recruiting, and profiling of its members. Members take an active role in relation to a wide range of OMN activities, such as the maritime innovation seminar co-hosted by OMN and Det Norske Veritas – “Cleaner Energy, Reduced Consumption – The Safest Harbor”. The calibre of such events are high, as OMN members are world leaders in segments that include car transport, petroleum and chemical tankers, equipment supply and management support, classification and risk management, maritime insurance, ship broking and ship financing.
The Oslo region has the most highly educated population in Europe, and OMN members draw on this knowledge base to further strengthen their leading positions. Competition balanced with cooperation is leading to continued organizational success, and as OMN Manager Kevin Gallagher indicates, “Strengthening of the regional cluster is of primary importance, and members contribute to the cluster as a whole through their active participation – creating an effect that not only strengthens the Oslo region cluster and the individual member companies, but the Norwegian cluster as well.”