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The Arctic – too great to tackle alone

The harsh environment of the Arctic poses many unique challenges to operations in the area. Addressing those challenges, which include safety, infrastructure, communications and many more, will require an immense amount of know-how and investment – too great for any one company alone.

“I think joint ventures are a must because big investments are needed to operate safely and sustainably in the Arctic,” says Felix Tschudi, chairman and owner of the Tschudi Group. “These cost and risks should be shared between parties and, of course, there is also the opportunity to reduce that risk by sharing experience.”

Peter Evensen, CEO of Teekay Corporation, agrees: “I don’t think any company can do it alone and  that’s why there are going to be partnerships.”

“Personally, I would like to see more partnerships for Teekay Corporation in order to enhance our presence in the Arctic.” 

Collaboration in high demand

World Economic Forum Senior Community Manager Victoria Crawford sees the most obvious area for collaboration in search and rescue and points to opportunities for sharing risks and costs in general. “I would really like to see collaboration between different sectors and across different regions,” says Crawford.

UCLA Professor Laurence C. Smith says that the industry should collaborate in creating uniform standards with regard to shipping technologies, oil spill cleanup technologies. “It would be great if they could be shared across different boat platforms, for example, because there's so little infrastructure and so few assets in this part of the world. The ability to cooperate, collaborate, and share equipment would be very beneficial.”

Kongsberg CEO Walter Qvam also welcomed the chance to identify opportunities for cooperation: 

Qvam also points out that business should collaborate more with government organisations. “The business community needs to start collaborating with the authorities, taking more responsibility for the agenda rather than just hearing what we're told.” 

“All of us need to think in new ways when it comes to working together with the people who might be our competitors,” adds Åsmund Hellesøy, general sales manager at Wärtsilä Ship Design Norway.

While cooperating with ones competitor might not seem ideal, the benefits could easily outweigh the risk, according to Tschudi.

“We’re making the pie bigger, and then sharing a bigger pie. We really have a lot to learn from cooperating and sharing, because it increases the size of the pie in a safe and good way so that everyone has a stake.”

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