“We have seen an amazing increase in the number of startups in the ocean cluster in Iceland,” says dr. Thor Sigfusson CEO of the Iceland Ocean Cluster. Of the top 100 startups in Iceland, ocean related industries have mostly represented around 5% of the companies but in recent years the percentage has risen to 10-15%.
Sigfusson says there is no single explanation for this. „We have seen more media interest in these companies which has been important. Also, there has been a movement in Iceland towards full utilisation of the fish and more value which has increased interest in startups in this field,“ says Sigfusson. “It is also quite obvious that the R&D institutes in Iceland, Matis and various universities, have assisted many small companies in their R&D.”
Sigfusson says that the Iceland Ocean Cluster and the Ocean Cluster House has become an important melting pot for new startups in this field. Around 25 startups have been housed in the incubation centers at the Ocean Cluster House and many of them have become quite successful.
„We have seen many of the startups blossom in the Ocean Cluster House. The strength of the house is that the startups are around other startups but also medium sized and large companies that are working with them in the House. This has created a unique dynamism.”
“We have also seen an increase in investor interest which is crucial if the companies are to scale up and expand abroad,” says Thor Sigfusson.