Norwegian Offshore Wind has hired former Antler director Narve Hansen to lead the work with Norway´s first offshore wind accelerator.
"My vision is to bring the industry together to shed light on the most critical challenges in offshore wind, organize data, and increase expertise to tackle the biggest issues," says Hansen.
The accelerator was launched before summer and is the first one of its kind in Norway. It is aimed at companies that offer innovative solutions, ideas and technology for the offshore wind industry.
According to Norwegian Offshore Wind, the strong Norwegian offshore wind industry is the frame around the program, but it will build on international collaboration and accept companies from all over the world.
Norwegian Offshore Wind says it has gained interest from many Norwegian and international startups and scaleups. Hansen aims to recruit more scaleups and startups as members of Norwegian Offshore Wind.
"I see the potential to incubate 100 startups by the end of this year. Then, together with the industry partners and investors we will select around ten companies for the accelerator," explains Hansen.
Hansen will start recruiting companies this week.
"We will position this program as the most wanted network for competence, innovation, and business opportunity. The accelerator is a first step in establishing a strong innovative ecosystem around the offshore wind industry," says Hansen.
Narve Hansen has a long career in entrepreneurship, product development, and marketing, contributing to building strong Norwegian brands such as Skandiabanken, BankAxept, and Vipps. Until recently, he held the position of Director Global Business Development and Collaboration in one of the worlds' leading startup accelerators, Antler.
His extensive global network will be vital when building and developing the NOW Accelerator, NOW said.
The accelerator is industry-driven and has partners such as Equinor, Fred Olsen Seawind, Ørsted, Hafslund Eco, Deep Wind Offshore, EDF, Corio Generation, Å Energi, Seagust and Vattenfall on board.
Other large financial institutions and industry actors have also contacted Norwegian Offshore Wind to become partners.
Developer Deep Wind Offshore was the first partner to sign up.
"Technological development and innovation are crucial to reducing costs in floating offshore wind. Innovation is created across the industry and in interaction between developers and suppliers. In partnership with EDF Renewables, we look forward to contributing our experiences, establishing contact with several start-up companies and will continue our work to further develop the start-up environment for offshore wind as a partner in the NOW Accelerator, says CEO of Deep Wind Offshore, Knut Vassbotn.
He adds:"The offshore wind industry is dependent on smaller suppliers who develop, validate and scale up their solutions, thus strengthening the competitiveness of the Norwegian offshore wind industry."