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Ocean Opportunity Lab: The world’s first floating entrepreneur hub

A famous name among the Norwegian maritime community has become a shipowner … kind of.

Birgit Liodden, who previously headed up Nor-Shipping before being appointed director at startup supporter Oslo Business Region, is set to become chair of the board looking after new acquisition, Bjørvika (pictured below), a passenger ship that is being transformed to house startups for a new venture, the Ocean Opportunity Lab. The ship will officially be relaunched in the Norwegian capital as the world’s first floating ocean entrepreneur hub at this year’s Nor-Shipping.

“This will specifically be a lighthouse to gather the world’s coolest and craziest people to explore the future, and become an attraction in itself,” Liodden tells Maritime CEO. “It’s also the symbol of entrepreneurship – grassroots, pushing from the bottom up, built on reuse and utilising existing resources, and requiring limited resources.”

The Ocean Opportunity Lab is yet another example of how Norway – and Scandinavia as a whole – is leading the world in harnessing novel technologies to change maritime.

Why the Nordics seem to have carved out this maritime tech leadership is clear to Liodden – it’s largely down to geography and demographics.

“I think it’s all about scarce resources, the tough climate and the lack of hierarchy,” she says, adding: “We’re fuelling the explorers and adventurers’ mentality and from a young age we’re encouraged to think smart and find solutions.” No doubt, this mentality will be very much on display at Nor-Shipping this June.

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