NCE Seafood Innovation worked with two master students from the University of Stavanger and Norwegian School of Economics this spring.

Marte Holmeseth and Carl H.B. Haukås. Photos: Private.

Attracting talents to the industry through master theses
NCE Seafood Innovation worked with two master students from the University of Stavanger and Norwegian School of Economics this spring. We invited them to tell more about their theses and experience.

«Both master theses highlight the value of cluster projects and networking activities.  It is inspiring to see how the students evaluate insight from cluster partners and members and reflect on cluster activities from a theoretical perspective. We are also happy to see that this cooperation strengthens their interest for the seafood industry and build an important bridge between students and industry, to secure talents in the seafood industry for the future,» says Nina Stangeland, Managing Director in NCE Seafood Innovation.

How is knowledge shared in the cluster and how does it affect the ability to innovate?
Marte Holmeseth, student at the University of Stavanger looked at the cluster members in NCE Seafood Innovation and NCE Aquatech Cluster, to understand how knowledge is shared and how it affects the ability to innovate among cluster members.

The results show that companies’ motivation to join the cluster plays a key role in knowledge sharing, and that dialogue between members largely occurs in formal contexts such as events and meetings hosted by the clusters. Both physical and digital interactions are found to promote knowledge sharing. Furthermore, the findings show that this interaction stimulates ideas and the innovation capacity in cluster companies. Overall, this highlights the value of participating in meeting arenas as unique knowledge is shared between cluster companies.

«I would like to use this opportunity to thank all the members of NCE Seafood Innovation that took the time to participate in the membership survey and the interviews.  It has been a very exciting process and a unique way to gain insight into how members of Norwegian business clusters work and collaborate,» says Marte Holmeseth.

What are the preconditions to start and scale digital ecosystems like AquaCloud?
Carl H.B. Haukås looked at NCE Seafood Innovation’s big data project AquaCloud, to understand how they deal with multiple stakeholders and data collection from various sites along the Norwegian coast. This thesis will be contributing to NHH Norwegian School of Economics planned research center, Digital Innovation for Growth.

Findings show that data standardization and data security are fundamental to allow heterogeneous and complementary technologies operate together towards a joint value proposition while securing sensitive data. However, without fully understanding how to design this system, findings suggest digital ecosystems have to start with trust and simplified contracts among the involved parties, allowing experimentation toward a functional design. Then, as standardization and security are established, the ecosystem becomes scalable as technologies can easily connect and disconnect while efficiently preserving interests as trust shifts from primarily humans to systems. Furthermore, findings suggest establishing a structure e.g., an organization which adjusts standards and security measures according to changing business environments is fundamental for long-term success. These findings represent considerable barriers to overcome, but for digital ecosystems like AquaCloud, the incentives to succeed far outweigh the costs. Overall, creating a digital ecosystem shows signs of being a beneficial strategy if one can manage to establish these preconditions.

«Personally, I’m hooked on the seafood industry and fascinated by the value potential in large industry projects. So, I don’t think I could have asked for more when the cluster let me focus this thesis onto AquaCloud,» says Carl H.B. Haukås.