The Iceland Ocean Cluster’s mission is to create value and discover new opportunities by connecting entrepreneurs, businesses and knowledge in the marine industries.

Economic costs of the strike

The Iceland Ocean Cluster was recently assigned to a project by the Ministry of Fisheries in Iceland to evaluate the economic costs of the strikes in the fishing industry which came to a halt in the mid of December. At a press meeting, February 10, the Minister of Fisheries, Ms. Þorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir introduced the findings of the report.

The fisheries sector in Iceland has been regarded as one of the cornerstones of the Icelandic economy for quite some time.  In earlier economic studies done by the IOC, the whole ocean industry in Iceland, including fisheries and processing, tech companies, transportation etc., had overall effects of around 25% of Iceland GDP. Long strikes may therefore have serious affects on the Icelandic economy.

The IOC study indicates that the strike has already had serious effects on various parts of the economy but still most of the fish quota can be captured later in the year. „Therefore a major part of the income are not lost but rather delayed,“ says dr. Thor Sigfusson at the IOC. „However, much longer strike can seriously effect various parts of the ocean cluster in Iceland; fisheries and processing, companies in tech and service, sales and marketing etc..,“says Thor. „Longer strike may also cause serious damages on the brand which Iceland has built in seafood; being a year round reliable source of quality seafood in the global market.“

Should Iceland, Russia, Norway and the Faroe Islands start collaborating on branding and marketing the North Atlantic Cod?

This is a question put forth by dr. Thor Sigfusson founder of the Iceland Ocean Cluster in a new IOC analysis just released.

The analysis discusses the increased whitefish farming competing with the wild whitefish in the largest markets for wild Cod; Europe and the US.

The North Atlantic Cod needs to expand its boundaries in Asia and the IOC analysis suggests that one option to observe is for the aforementioned Cod nations to start building a stronger brand recognition in new markets. Such collaboration could strengthen the global market position of the wild North Atlantic Cod.

“The wild North Atlantic Cod has unique qualities and comes from unspoiled and cold Arctic seas. We believe we need to be tell more people about the Cod especially in new markets such as Asia where the product is rarely known. To do so its clever to cluster our efforts and work together,” says Sigfusson.

Top ten highlights of the Iceland Ocean Cluster in 2016

  1. 70 companies are now a part of our community in the Ocean Cluster House – 20% increase from last year.
  2. Several of our startups received awards for excellence: Entrepreneur of the Year, Rising Star Awards etc. Great stuff.
  3. We were awarded the Best Office Space in Iceland 2016 by Nordic Startup Awards.
  4. Number of visitors at the Ocean Cluster House in Reykjavik in 2016 increased by 20% from previous year.
  5. Our new cluster in New England had a great first full year – inspiring fisheries to use more of their seafood!
  6. Codland, one of our first spin-offs, introduced new marine collagen products to the market which were well received.
  7. Our 100% Fish project emphasizing full utilization of seafood products currently used as landfill in many countries, is making a wave!
  8. The IOC announced the planned opening of the first food hall in Reykjavik in 2017 at Hlemmur.
  9. Lyst- Future of Food venue was held for the first time and is a part of our stategy to become a game changer for startups in all food related in Iceland.
  10. Never in the IOC history have more cities or states shown interest in setting up ocean cluster houses similar to ours in 2016.

We are extremely pleased with the year 2016 and honored by the interest and enthusiasm which we find all around for the 100% movement we are a part of – using our skills and coop to treat our natural ocean resources sensibly and create more value and jobs while doing so.

We wish you all a very merry christmas and a happy new year.

The Iceland Ocean Cluster and JA Iceland partner up

_joe6343One of the fields which the The Junior Achievement programme in 2017 will focus on is food and ocean entrepreneurship. The Iceland Ocean Cluster has partnered with JA Iceland to create more new student businesses in this field in the years to come. The IOC will provide mentors and part work space for the young entrepreneurs to work on their ideas and use the cluster network to connect the student entrepreneurs with companes and investors. Founded in 2001 when Young Enterprise Europe and Junior Achievement International Europe merged, JA works with the education and business communities as well as governments to provide young people from primary school to university with experiences that build the skills and competences they will need to succeed in a global economy. The programme has reached 3.5 million students in 39 countries.

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