Our philosophy with the ocean cluster network is to lean local first and then look for synergies. We know ocean clusters are not homogeneous; that is what makes them so exciting. Some may focus on seafood, others on various marine technology, aquaculture, ocean tourism and so on. It is crucial for the clusters to find their niche. However, I have emphasized that this niche is not decided at a brainstorming session at the start - it evolves as the cluster initiates different relationships and sharing of ideas - then the trends and future focus emerge.
We didnt see the green technology becoming so crucial in the early days of the Iceland ocean cluster. But as relationships developed and trust was built among tech companies more and more emphasized their strength in that field and willingness to collaborate more on environmentally friendly solutions. The same is with the focus on full utilization of seafood; it emerged through conversation among entrepreneurs.
After the initial mapping of local ocean industries and building of the local network, the global network is the natural next step. Remember we are in an industry with lots of potentials but somewhat left behind in the startup world. By creating this movement or a network suddenly interesting startups will emerge, not only as isolated islands but a part of a larger network or a movement in the ocean industry.
Founder, Iceland Ocean Cluster