By the end of the celebration, our guests were left in no doubt that the Ship Model Tank has been, and still is, one of Norway's most important items of research infrastructure. A new video took viewers through the maritime evolution of Norway, from the conquests of the Vikings in their hand-built ships to advanced offshore installations at the bottom of the sea, LNG-fuelled cargo vessels and the development of the "energy ships" of the future: offshore wind turbines. With the exception of the Viking ships, all of these innovations have been developed with the aid of research done in the Ship Model Tank, which was established thanks to the visionary NTH professor Hans R. Mørch, who launched the idea of the laboratory as long ago as 1913. After 26 years of planning and three of construction, the Tank was completed on September 1, 1939.
Nor was there a shortage of plaudits:
"I heartily congratulate MARINTEK on this anniversary. Today we are acclaiming a research institute and a laboratory that have been of decisive importance for Norway as a maritime great power, both of which have made major contributions to Norwegian wealth creation and industrial development. Our celebration today is evidence of the importance of first-class laboratories, which need to be kept at the leading edge of international research. This is why Norway must now press forward with the next-generation ocean laboratory, the Ocean Space Centre," said Unni Steinsmo, President of SINTEF and chair of the board of MARINTEK, in her opening speech. Steinsmo also emphasised the efforts made by industry itself, and thanked our enterprising clients and the first-class researchers and staff who have made this research adventure a reality.
Efforts in line with government strategy
Dilek Ayhan, State Secretary in the Ministry of Industry and Fisheries, conveyed the Norwegian government's warm congratulations to the innovative and still lively 75-year-old. Ayhan underlined the importance of the maritime sector as a driving force in the government's strategy of "blue growth", with clear reference to plans to realise the Ocean Space Centre. R & D, education, greener shipping, competitiveness and marine operation in the Arctic were among the strategic priority areas she mentioned, all of them in line with MARINTEK's own visions.