Transfer of knowledge from traditional industry to global actors

A continuing characteristic of Norwegian industrial history has been, and still is, the transfer of experience from one field to another. The historic connection between the export of fish and timber and overseas shipping has already been mentioned. From the 1870s Norway became one of the leading producers of wood pulp because the country had a significant water-driven milling industry; the technology was basically the same in the two industries. A hundred years later fish farming took off when herring fishermen with competence in making seines got involved and developed efficient and robust floating fish cages.

The petroleum sector, not least, was also able to benefit from the knowledge and skills of the older industries. Thus it was important for the building up of Norway’s own capacity as an oilfields operator that the country had had, before the start of the North Sea oil boom, an international shipping business that in the course of the 20th century had developed precisely the largescale transport of crude oil, liquid gas, and chemicals as leading specialties.

A large, technically advanced shipbuilding industry pulled in the same direction. The development of the huge concrete platforms had an important foundation in the many decades of large-scale building of concrete dams with tunnels and pipelines to power stations and big industries based on hydroelectricity.

Finally, the experience of deep-sea fishermen with medium-sized steel boats and the North Sea’s harsh waters could be drawn upon when the fleet of different types of offshore vessels was to be built: stand-by boats, supply boats, tugs and anchoring boats, and more.
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