Trude Jansen Hagland took on the role as Managing Director at NCE Seafood Innovation on October 1st. She holds a degree in fish health biology, and on her journey here, she has gained extensive experience across various sectors of the industry.

In other words, she is well-prepared to work in a cluster committed to collaborating with the industry to promote sustainability and innovation. But what are her goals, and why did she choose to work here?

A fish health biologist who has tried almost “everything”

Trude’s journey, from graduating as a fish health biologist at the University of Bergen to her current role, has included various stops that have shaped her along the way.

I have worked in different parts of the seafood industry and aquaculture industry, delving into various areas such as research and development (R&D), regulation, and the feed industry.

However, in the two last years, she’s been working with technology, digitalization, and fish health at Aquabyte, where among others, she was responsible for expansion strategy. This experience is highly relevant in a cluster focused on an industry set to grow.

Trude has also previously worked at the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and Cargill, gaining a variety of experiences and knowledge about the industry’s needs.

From all the areas I’ve worked in, I’ve seen the need for more knowledge and experienced problems we can’t solve individually. But a cluster can, and that’s what we will continue to do.

Looking in from the outside

She explains that her position in the cluster is a good fit for her both in terms of her professional background and the experiences she has accumulated throughout her years in the industry.

If fits like a glove. The cluster is working on topics I’m passionate about and also tackling challenges that must be addressed to take the seafood industry to new heights.

Trude highlights the significance of the cluster’s members and the composition of its board, noting that it makes it particularly interesting.

Trude Jansen Hagland at the launch of Industry Insight: The future of plastics in the Norwegian aquaculture industry. Photo: Synnøve Alise Furnes

They are significant actors and voices in the industry, and I believe it’s because the cluster has managed to create value, such as AquaCloud, competence programs, and Industry Insight reports. It’s a knowledge-driven industry organization, making the position very exciting.

I’ve observed the cluster from the outside, as a member, and it has been motivating to see what the cluster has achieved.

Elevating two particular areas

What are her goals now that she has taken on her new role? Trude highlights two specific areas.

First and foremost, I’m passionate about continuing to create value and relevance for our members. Initiating activities and projects that that stimulates sustainable growth and development in the seafood industry is my vision.

However, she also mentions that she wants to further develop and gain momentum. The cluster has had a broad strategy lately, and even though a lot is being done in all five focus areas, some of them need to a bit of extra attention moving forward, she says.

I want to put emphasis on digitalization and fish health, two areas where the industry needs to see development. Fish health and welfare is my passion as a fish health biologist, and digitalization can also impact the progress in this field.

Trude emphasizes that the other areas, future competence, future feed ingredients, and climate, environment, and circular economy, will also be worked on diligently. However, there is a need for an extra focus on fish health and welfare, as well as digital transformation and digitalization.

Trude highlights the need for more focus on fish health and digitalization. Photo: Silje K. Robinson

It’s incredibly difficult to choose because all of them are so important. But sometimes, you must be tough and decide, and I know that the industry wants to see more progress in these two areas. I also believe that it’s a win-win situation because increased digitalization can have a significant impact on fish health and welfare. It will likely simplify many things, but we have a job to do when it comes to knowledge sharing. A lot of it is about change, and transformation management, increasing knowledge and understanding of what needs to be done.

She highlights the Industry Insight reports as a strong foundation to initiate such processes.

When areas are complex, it’s challenging to understand where to begin. Both the feed report and the data sharing report are good examples.

I want to put emphasis on digitalization and fish health, two areas where the industry needs to see development. Fish health and welfare is my passion as a fish health biologist, and digitalization can also impact the progress in this field.

An industry with a lot of opportunities

It’s clear that Trude enjoys challenges, but she would much rather talk about the opportunities they present.

I’ve worked a lot on product development, and it’s about solving a problem or a need. Within all five of our strategic areas, there are several challenges to address, and I see many opportunities where we can contribute to increasing knowledge and understanding.

She mentions AquaCloud as an example.

Photo: Silje K. Robinson

We see that more people are getting involved in the data project now, and in the future, we will begin to understand causes better. This means we can make decisions based on knowledge and not assumptions. If we want to solve problems, we must understand the cause, and we must share knowledge with each other.

She emphasizes knowledge sharing as a central factor behind the success of salmon farming in Norway, and she points out that this is also how we can succeed in driving the seafood industry forward.

New strategy

What she has learned along the way will be important in the development of the cluster’s new strategy.

Since our present strategy expires next year, we will begin work on the strategy for the next years, which will build on prior efforts and member demands. We are attentive to their needs, and it’s important that we spend our time on what matters most to them. But we can also play the role of a challenger, and a facilitator and a bridge builder.

Trude is described as energetic, caring, and attentive, and with her professional background, she is well-equipped for the opportunities that await her in the cluster. We look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.