A conceptual study of a NOK 10 billion (€1.23 billion) Ocean Space Centre has been presented to Trond Giske, Norway’s Minister of Trade and Industry.
The centre, proposed for the Trondheim waterfront, would provide researchers with the facilities needed to study an array of marine and maritime topics, from ship design, to renewable energy production and fish farming.
Giske was said to be clearly enthusiastic about the project in a press conference in Trondheim earlier this week, when he underscored the importance of maintaining Norway’s competitive edge in ocean technology, engineering and biology.
NTNU Rector Torbjørn Digernes said such a centre would enable researchers to, “Develop the knowledge that’s needed to contribute to solving the global challenges the world faces.”
“We are embarking on an exciting process that will determine whether it will be possible to establish an alliance among the public sector, industry and national and international research interests to build and operate laboratories like the Ocean Space Centre,” Digernes said.
The plans will be presented to the NTNU Board of Directors to determine what role NTNU should play in developing the concept further.
The centre would be a natural successor to the Hydrodynamic Laboratories at Tyholt, where researchers from NTNU and MARINTEK currently study and test the design of ships, ocean structures and propellers. These laboratories include a cavitation laboratory, a 50 metre by 80 metre ocean basin lab, and a 260 metre long towing tank. However, as currently envisioned, the Ocean Space Centre would expand the scope of testing facilities in one unified centre, including marine biology laboratories.