For a centre for research-based innovation to be successful, it is crucial to recruit partners with background in education and industrial R&D, ranging from large scale end users to SMEs.

SFI Smart Ocean involves active cooperation between research partners, industry partners, industry clusters as well as observers from national authorities. Read more about our partners below, and get in touch if you think SFI Smart Ocean can be relevant to your business or organisation.

Research partners

University of Bergen, Department of Physics and Technology (Host institution).  

The University of Bergen (UiB) is an internationally recognised research university. Academic diversity and high quality are fundamental for us. UiB is the most cited university in Norway. There are seven faculties at UiB and there are close to 18 500 students at the university. Around 2 000 of these are international students. We employ more than 4 000 faculty and staff.


NORCE is a new and forward-looking research institute, with expertise in a wide range of fields and strong communities of knowledge. We deliver research and innovation in energy, health care, climate, the environment, society and technology. Our solutions address key challenges for society and contribute to value creation on the local, national and global levels. NORCE is one of Norway’s largest independent research institutes, with more than 750 employees from around the world.

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

HVL is one of the largest educational institutions in the country, with about 17,000 students. HVL stretches over 5 campuses and 400 kilometers on the western coast of Norway. The university offers a broad range of academic programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD levels.

Institute of Marine Research

The Institute of Marine Research (IMR) is one of the biggest marine research institutes in Europe, with about 1,100 employees. Our main activities are research, advisory work and monitoring.

IMR is a leading supplier of knowledge relating to the sustainable management of the resources in our marine ecosystems and the whole food chain from the sea to the table.

Norwegian Defence Research Establishment

Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) is the prime institution responsible for defence-related research in Norway.

The Establishment is the chief adviser on defence-related science and technology to the Ministry of Defence and the Norwegian Armed Forces’ military organization.


The Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center – NERSC – is conducting research within earth science systems in the High North and the Arctic, where they use broad interdisciplinary expertise to investigate and map marine, cryospheric and atmospheric conditions.

Industry partners

Aanderaa Data Instruments AS

Aanderaa’s roots were formed in the need to make reliable measurements in the earth’s most harsh environments.

Founded in the early 1960s by Ivar Aanderaa, the Aanderaa name quickly became synonymous for robust and reliable instrument solutions for oceanographic and other environmental measurements. Now as part of Xylem, Inc., the Aanderaa reputation for data quality, reliability, and excellent customer support continues to serve the global need to have better, smarter, and more robust sensor and systems solutions.

Aker BP

Aker BP explores for and produces oil and gas on the Norwegian continental shelf. In production we are one of the largest independent listed oil companies in Europe.


Bouvet is a Norwegian consultancy which designs, develops and provides advice on IT solutions and digital communication.

Kongsberg Discovery

In a constantly changing market environment, Kongsberg Discovery is serving the ocean space from the deepest sea to the outer space. We know and understand the challenges the world is facing in the sustainability area, and we will continuously develop solutions and products that are key to understand environmental implications on the ocean ecosystem as well as solving operational challenges.


With roots in the harsh and beautiful environment of the western coast of Norway we have grown into an international group of companies. Our product range is based on knowledge acquired through many years of product development and improvement, which has resulted in our smart solutions.
Our engineering team is specialized in mechanics, hydraulics and electronics engineering and we provide services for the worlds leading oil and drilling companies.

Reach Subsea

Reach Subsea offers IMR, ROV, Survey, Construction Support and Decommissioning Services within the Renewable and O&G industry. We are an advanced provider in the subsea market, regarded by stakeholders as a flexible, competent and high-quality performer with world class in-house engineering. Reach Subsea delivers advanced solutions to technologically demanding customers in need of engineering and equipment/spreads related to subsea operation. Competent personnel, coupled with specialised equipment, enables Reach Subsea to bundle its subsea services to deliver cost-effective, tailored solutions to meet individual client needs.

Tampnet Inc

Tampnet’s vision is to become a global leader in providing high capacity, low latency and reliable connectivity to offshore installations, mobile rigs and vessels.

Tampnet’s mission is to add value to customers through connecting offshore assets to robust and reliable terrestrial network with high capacity and low latency. Our services shall enable our customers to improve on quality, health, safety, efficiency and welfare in their offshore operations.

TSC Subsea

TSC Subsea specializes in exclusive-technology-enabled, remotely deployed subsea inspections to assess the structural integrity of offshore assets.

W-sense AS

W-SENSE is a deep-tech company specialized in underwater monitoring and communication systems, based on patented technologies that have pioneered the Internet of Underwater Things (IoUT) in top tier customers in Aquaculture, Energy and Environmental Monitoring, Security and Defense. WSense’s technologies are at the forefront of underwater wireless networking, enabling multi-modal secure wireless communications and networking among submerged and surface sensing and robotic platforms.  Our technology allows real time, bidirectional communications, easy integration to any vendor’s sensors modems and devices, interoperability and long-lasting autonomy.

Industry cluster partners

GCE Ocean Technology

GCE Ocean Technology was established in 2006 in Bergen, Norway and is an industry driven initiative within ocean technology with more than 120 partners and members.

The cluster develops and supplies innovative ocean technology within a wide range of applications, including:

  • Subsea oil and gas production
  • Marine renewable energy production
  • Marine food production
  • Exploration of marine mineral resources.


Global Center of Expertise (GCE) NODE is a cluster of companies that supply world-leading technology, products and services to the global energy and maritime industries. Our focus is on building competency and R&D cooperation with national and international partners.

Our goals are to secure competitiveness, enhance the development of new products and services, and transfer knowledge and technology to new markets in a sustainable way.
GCE NODE is part of the Norwegian Innovation Clusters program.

NCE Seafood Innovation

NCE Seafood Innovation is a leading business cluster within the seafood industry, with over 120 partners and members representing the whole seafood value chain. The cluster plays a central role in contributing to the sustainable growth and development of the seafood industry. NCE Seafood Innovation works with knowledge sharing and innovation towards five industrially important areas in the industry; climate, environment and circular economy, digitalisation, fish health and fish welfare, future feed ingredients as well as competence and talent attraction. The cluster works closely with its partners and members to create results and values ​​for the entire seafood industry. AquaCloud is a wholly owned subsidiary of NCE Seafood Innovation and aims to contribute to increased interaction on data sharing in the seafood industry.

National authority observers

The Directorate of Fisheries

The Directorate of Fisheries’ main objective is to promote profitable economic activity through sustainable and user-oriented management of marine resources and the marine environment.

The Directorate of Fisheries’ areas of operation:

  • Management of marine resources
  • Aquaculture management
  • Coastal zone management

Norwegian Ocean Industry Authority

The Norwegian Ocean Industry Authority (Havtil) is a government supervisory and administrative agency with regulatory responsibility for safety, the working environment, emergency preparedness and security.

Our supervisory responsibility embraces oil and gas activities on the whole Norwegian continental shelf in addition to seven petroleum facilities on land and associated pipeline systems.

Our responsibility also includes renewable energy production offshore, CO₂ transport and storage​ and mineral recovery from the seabed. In 2023, we also received supervisory responsibility under the Security Act.