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The annual meeting and Cluster gathering

PHOTO: Kajsa Selnes / AD

Annual meeting and cluster gathering at the Thamspavilion

On Tuesday, September 24, Thamsklyngen held its annual meeting and cluster gathering at the Thamspavilion. The Thamspavilion was Norway's contribution to the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. After 124 years in the USA, the building was brought back to Orkanger, where it was originally constructed at Strandheim Brug.

The afternoon began with a welcome address, followed by a review of the annual report for 2018 by Chairman Bjørn Wiggen. The first part concluded with a presentation by Jens Petter Johansen and his colleague Håkon Fyhn from NTNU Social Research. They have been following Thamsklyngen since its inception, participated in several activities throughout the year, and conducted a qualitative case study of the cluster establishment from an external perspective. They stated that it has been exciting to witness the development, although challenging due to the rapid pace of progress. The findings of the case study were also compared to cluster establishments in other parts of the country. One of the conclusions was that it is easier to achieve cross-sector collaboration by being part of an interdisciplinary industrial cluster. The cluster also enables participants to establish a common platform for structured cooperation.

Cluster Manager John Kåre Solem then opened the second part and provided an overview of Thamsklyngen's activities in 2019. The future plans for the cluster were also discussed. Thamsklyngen was founded in September 2018, and much has happened during its first year. The cluster has established two competence groups (efficient production and IT & digitalization) and plans to establish three more. Torbjørn Evjen (group leader for efficient production) and Arne Kristian Mo (group leader for IT & digitalization) provided information about the activities they have planned for the year. Visit the "Events" tab to learn more about these activities and to register. Additionally, it was announced that the cluster will offer all participants a screening to identify their material and energy flows. This is intended to gain an overview and create a new platform for resource sharing. The cluster is also working on projects related to district heating planning, better utilization of timber, and by-products from the process industry.

IMAGE: John Kåre Solem in Thamsklyngen provided an update on the past year and discussed the focus for the future. PHOTO: Kajsa Selnes / AD

Frode Husby from Stena Recycling in Orkanger provided a brief overview of the Stena Group and how they reuse various types of waste. Recycled raw materials are waste materials that are processed into new raw materials. It is important to utilize these resources as we face increasing pressure on the Earth's resources. Recycled raw materials are central to the concept of a circular economy. Efficient value chains and close dialogue between stakeholders are necessary to drive the development forward.

Stein Ivar Strøm from Innovasjon Norge. PHOTO: Kajsa Selnes / AD

Stein Ivar Strøm from Innovation Norway talked about the role of clusters in Norway and provided an overview of the different cluster programs available. Increased innovation capacity and value creation are two important measurement parameters. Innovation Norway is an important partner for Thamsklyngen, and we will work towards becoming part of the Arena program. Eirik Andreassen from Digital Norway concluded the gathering by discussing how customer-driven innovation adds value for customers. He also outlined the definition of digitization and its impact on small and medium-sized companies in Norway. Digital Norway, in collaboration with Thamsklyngen, will conduct two workshops in November to provide valuable insights on this topic for our cluster participants. The workshops have received positive feedback, and we highly recommend them.

The evening ended with a social gathering and tapas at O75 in Orkdalsveien.


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