Team Arctic Finland has been a highly powerful and credible brand in creating global interest in Finnish Arctic competence. It has opened doors to high-level decision makers in key companies operating in the Arctic. Still, strong development and promotion investments are required to give Finnish companies a credible business position.
Team Arctic companies have strong references and innovative products for harsh conditions and remote locations where performance requirements are extreme and new innovations are needed due to high investment and operating costs. The team consists of world-leading companies in their specific fields, such as Lamor, offering oil spill response and recovery; Rolls-Royce Marine, providing ship design and systems for Arctic needs, including power, propulsion and motion control solutions; Technip, providing extensive design and analysis capabilities for floating and fixed offshore structures in Arctic conditions; and Terramare, providing harbour and marine engineering and construction services.
These companies definitely know how to work in the Arctic and in Arctic conditions. For example, 60 percent of the world’s operating icebreakers have been designed and built in Finland. Aker Arctic Technology, for instance, offers development, design and testing services, and markets and sells complete ice-going ship projects. Arctia Shipping has over 100 years of experience in icebreaking and ice management. The Finnish Meteorological Institute provides world-leading analyses of Arctic weather and ice conditions using the best forecasting models as well as direct access to satellite data.
During the past year Team Arctic has met the most important investors and decision makers in the Arctic, and this work continues. We want to make sure that the best competence, engineering expertise and innovation power is used when planning and executing Arctic projects. The most advanced cleantech solutions need to be implemented in full scale. Finnish competence includes knowing how to operate safely in this sensitive environment, combined with high performance and reliability.
Although many Arctic investments have been postponed due to the decline in oil price and drawbacks in international politics, Team Arctic has been able to position itself well on the market. Many stakeholders see Team Arctic as a best practice on how international markets can be reached by combining resources and focusing on specific high-level customer decision makers.
Team Arctic is one example of how Gaia works as a facilitator in creating strategic partnerships between businesses in demanding international context. We see an exceptional added value in bringing companies and resources together into consortiums of innovation, internationalisation and growth. Team Arctic is a valuable success story in this approach.
Two years ago Gaia’s study estimated that 240 billion euros would be invested in the Arctic by 2020. Arctic activities are growing in the long term but investment intensity is varying due to energy and mineral price fluctuations as well as changes in the political climate. Royal Dutch Shell PLC just announced a plan to drill oil in the Alaskan Arctic. The project may result in a total of 1 billion dollars of investments in the future. For Shell, the Alaskan venture is part of its long-term energy strategy.
How can a company then achieve a leading position in this extreme competition and seize its growth opportunities?
The Arctic Economic Council was founded a year ago to facilitate business-to-business activities and sustainable economic development in the Arctic. This forum is expected to become an important builder of high-level contacts and a promoter of dialogue between the business community and the policy makers in the Arctic. It is certainly one of the forums where Finland needs to be exceptionally active.
The Arctic environment and conditions require state-of-the-art technologies, innovative value-added solutions, and an advanced sustainability approach. Strong and focused, customer-driven development investments are needed for best-performing solutions that combine the needs of investors, turnkey contractors, operators, the environment, as well as local communities.
Companies need to act jointly to enter and create a credible position in the demanding Arctic business arena. It is already proven that a well-planned, systematic, long-term cooperation improves the chances of gaining the attention of high-level decision makers. Let’s push the synergetic approach forward to create sustainable business with selected Arctic key players.
Päivi Luoma and Pekka Pokela
Luoma is a Leading Consultant and Pokela a Business Director at Gaia. Together they lead Team Arctic and facilitate opening new markets for the member companies’ Arctic know-how. All of this started with an in-depth market analysis of the Arctic market, and was followed by the identification of specific projects that are of high interest for Team Arctic companies.