The Board of Uni Research AS reached a decision Tuesday 1 September. The plan is for the company to be operational by the end of 2015.
– We have held talks for just over a year to see if there are grounds for a closer technical and organizational cooperation. It has been the potential benefits for our clients and customers that make us establish a new company. Polytec has strong communities that blend well with several of ours. Together we will be able to offer market-research, expertise and services of high professional quality, says Aina Berg, CEO of Uni Research.
WESTERN NORWAY RESEARCH INSTITUTE
With the new company, Uni Research’s operations will extend from Bergen to Sunnhordland and Haugalandet, all in the west of Norway.
– Polytec and Uni Research have complementary research communities with high quality. This is win-win for the region. Western Norway needs a large and powerful research institute with close proximity to private and public customers, says Gunnar Birkeland, Managing Director of Polytec.
The cooperation is already underway in the form of joint project proposals. Areas that stand out are farming, climate and energy.
Uni Research and Polytec both have activities geared towards the aquaculture industry. Central areas are design of fish farms, operations, fish health, weather forecasting including seasonal warning of waves, winds and currents, coupling of power models and biological models, coastal zone management and spatial planning.
There are also plans to establish a national center for coastal alerts to seek more knowledge, warnings and safer traffic along the coast. NCA has expressed interest in such a center.
– The creation of the new company creates complete environments that can develop new models for increased renewable energy production within the offshore, wind and hydropower plants, says Birkeland.
UNI RESEARCH AND POLYTECH
Uni Research is a Bergen-based research company with an annual turnover of almost 400 million, and NOK 400 employees. From 1986 until the formation of the limited company in 2003, Uni Research was part of the foundation Universitetsforskning Bergen. The company is currently organized into six departments. The major research areas are health, environment, climate, energy, bioproduction, modeling and society. Uni Research is a partner in the Bjerknes Centre for Climate, three centers for environmentally friendly energy (offshore wind, co2 storage and hydropower) and one center for research-driven innovation (closed aquaculture). University of Bergen is the principal owner.
Stiftelsen Polytec was founded in 1988 and is located in Haugesund and Stord. Polytec is known for creation of wave and current forecasts for the NCA, efforts to increase Norwegian gas exports and closing the technology gap in CO2 transport. Polytec is an active partner in NCE Maritime Cleantech and GCE Subsea and have strong communities in risk management, metocean, gas engineering and applied physics. Priority areas are renewable energy, oil and gas, aquaculture and maritime technology.