To main content

Norway’s Storting (Parliament) backs the Ocean Space Centre

Norwegian Parliament
On January 27, 2015, the Ocean Space Centre passed yet another political milestone. The background to this landmark event is that in October 2014, Norway's Minister of Education and Research Røe Isaksen laid a key research policy document, the Long-term Plan for Research and Higher Education before the Storting. In this document, the government determined that two R & D buildings will be allocated the highest priority in the immediate future: the Life Sciences Building at the University of Oslo and an upgrading of the Marine Technology Centre in Trondheim to become the Ocean Space Centre.

aIn the course of the past few months, the Storting has debated the Long-term Plan, and on January 27, its Church Affairs, Education and Research (KUF) Committee set out its recommendations regarding the matter (i.e. the Storting's comments and remarks regarding the government document). A great deal of effort has been put into ensuring that the decision of the Storting regarding the Ocean Space Centre is well-formulated and ensures a clear commitment to the project. This was done through written input submitted by MARINTEK, wide-ranging contact with other parties involved and participation in the hearings held by the Storting on January 5. Besides MARINTEK, the parties who emphasised the importance of the Ocean Space Centre at the hearings included the Norwegian Shipowners' Association, Abelia (a group associated with the employers' federation) and (research and innovation strategy organisation) Maritim 21.

We are therefore extremely pleased to announce that a unanimous KUF Committee posted the following comments:

"The Committee believes that one of the most important aims of a long-term plan should be to recognise the relationship between investments in buildings, infrastructure and professional expertise. New buildings and the upgrading of older buildings should therefore form part of such a plan. The Coommittee supports the government's proposal to prioritise new buildings for the life sciences, pharmacy and chemistry at the University of Oslo, and the upgrading of the Marine Technology Centre (Ocean Space Centre) in Trondheim. These infrastructure measures underline the importance of investment in research and development, and are in line with the government's areas of special effort in specific areas."

On this background, we can say that a unanimous Storting backs the prioritisation of the Ocean Space Centre.