France and Norway have a lot to share in the maritime sector at many levels: in the industry, the energy sector or the food industry for example. The existing cooperation is strong. It allows to foster regulations and initiatives towards better sustainability. However, to face the current challenges, more change have to be undertaken. The French-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in Oslo has interviewed Frédéric Moncany, President of the French Maritime Cluster, to have his opinion on what has been done and what needs to be done to deepen cooperation.
How would you describe Cluster Maritime Français (CMF)’s role and objectives?
The French Maritime Cluster (CMF) gathers, stimulates and promotes the French maritime economic sector, which accounts for €83 billion worth of production and more than 340,000 jobs. The CMF brings together more than 400 members in all sectors: shipping companies, shipbuilding and repair, offshore Oil and Gas service, supply industries, maritime safety and security industries, ports, insurance, ship broking, shipping finance, classification, etc.
The CMF acts on three fronts: communication, continuous dialogue with government authorities and the pursuit of synergies between its members. Annually, the Cluster gives an analytical snapshot of essential data on France’s maritime industries and organizes numerous conferences and activities.
In which specific areas would you be interested in strengthening the maritime cooperation between France and Norway?
France and Norway are already working on a new but most important topic, known as « Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships » (MASS). For instance, we are both part of the dialogue in the Maritime Safety Committee (and Correspondant Group above) on behalf of the International Maritime Organisation, looking for a balanced Regulatory Scoping Exercise on the MASS, as our companies Kongsberg and BOURBON teams up last year to developp new autonomous systems and technologies for the maritime sector.
In this field, we need to cooperate more, on both regulatory and industrial aspects.
Digital revolution is also a trend to reduce GHG emissions, thanks to IoT, smart grids, digital twin, etc. which help to optimize fuel consumption. Norway leads a lot of projects in environment transition especially with electric propulsion and energy efficiency. These technologies implemented on ships will improve new economic models for shipping on the whole of the value chain to be compliant with IMO regulations and social expectations regarding climate change and industrial impacts. French maritime industries are involved in defining the 2050 Vision for Energy transition: ship design and ship buiding, ship operations, logistics and three transverse challenges: energies and new energies, digitalisation (IoT, smart grids, digital twin, etc.) and services (insurances, banking, etc.). Cooperation would be relevant regarding these shared objectives.
Norway is the European leader for marine bioresources production both fisheries and aquaculture. France is in the top European countries for fish consumption and importation for Norway. Our industries cooperate for fisheries (in innovative technologies) and for fish processing (especially in Boulogne-sur-Mer and in Brittany), but we could deepen this collaboration regarding the new business opportunities of value added created by valorisation of the co-products and biotechnologies.
Fish farming is also a strategic sector. Cooperation between France and Norway started a lot of years ago with salmon and now cooperation could be strengthen in technologies for fish farms as well as biological research (diversification, IMTA, etc.).
Since a few years a French Delegation participates at the NASF. A partnership with NASF and Mission Capécure gathers companies and research centers of fish industry and could implement these different cooperations.
Read the full interview on the French-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce website