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New Head of Cluster

What would be the result if you mix international experience with a passion for shipbuilding and an ambission to bring the maritime cluster ahead in developing zero emission ships? Well, our new head of cluster, Daniel Garden is a pretty close guess.

Blue Maritime Cluster

– GCE Blue Maritime Cluster has a special position with the maritime industry and is of key importance in the cooperation between private businesses, the business development aid and government. To be able to participate in this dynamic community is very exciting. I am looking forward with great enthusiasm to take up my new position, says Daniel Garden.

He begins with ÅKP as Head of Cluster for the GCE Blue Maritime Cluster programme as of 1st September. He is coming to ÅKP from being general manager for Ulstein Business Association.

From before, Mr Garden has a long experience from the maritime sector. He was Key Account Manager in DLH Group in Denmark, importing raw materials to the ship-furniture industry in Europe. Later he became the manager for Optimera Marine, a part of the French multi-coorp Saint-Gobain, ending up as director for their marine division. He was also a founding factor in establishing the Norwegian Cruise & Ferry Group, an industry network now being fasilitated by the same maritime cluster and ÅKP. Mr Garden thinks his experience gives him a useful market perspective in his new role: 

- Through my last fifteen years in international shipbuilding, I will contribute with a market perspective that may be useful to my work in GCE Blue Maritime Cluster. I began my career abroad and gradually ended up in Norway. Maybe a bit opposite of most Norwegians in the industry.

The Cluster Ahead

Mr Garden has a belief in the cluster's future.

- I have a passion for the shipbuilding industry and maritime sector, and I am certain that many of the solutions to tomorrow's challenges will leap out from the same maritime industry, he says, and adds:

-GCE Blue Maritime's new strategy, the New BLUE Deal, is ambisious, relevant and can bring maritime Norway adead in developing zero emission ships of industrial scale.

A New Era

Daniel Garden is succeeding Mr Per Erik Dalen as Head of Cluster. The latter has had this role in addition to the position as general manager of ÅKP, among several board responsibilities. Mr Dalen will prevail in these roles, but is now happy to be welcoming Daniel Garden to the ÅKP team.

- Daniel has a long experience and insight in the maritime sector, and has also been involved in GCE Blue Maritime cluster through his work as a company representative. I am certain we are now getting a competent, and not least passiionate head of cluster, who will do a good job for the member businesses in GCE Blue Maritime Cluster, Mr Dalen says.

He thinks the relay-stick is being passed on in very interesting times:

- The maritime cluster needs to adapt to a new era with new demands. This is also the cluster's new strategy, the New BLUE Deal, a testimony of. The strategy is setting high goals, but the maritime cluster in Møre has adopted to change before and will manage to do it again also now. I believe Mr Garden will be a capable and unifying factor in this work, says Mr Dalen and emphasises that the new Head of Cluster will benefit from ÅKP's broad collective competence. 

– ÅKP runs GCE Blue Maritime Cluster on behalf of the member businesses. It was ÅKP that acquired the cluster status as Center of Expertise in 2004, Norwegian Centre of Expertise in 2006 and Global Centre of Expertise in 2016, all as the first cluster in Norway. For their work, ÅKP was awarded the best cluster organisation in Europe. There is no doubt that the cluster has given the whole region great national and international attention, in addition to important financial means, says Mr Dalen.

– ÅKP driv GCE Blue Maritime Cluster på vegne av medlemsbedriftene. Det var ÅKP som skaffa klynga status som Center of Expertice i 2004, Norwegian Centre of Expertise i 2006, og Global Centre of Expertise i 2016, alt som først i Norge. For dette arbeidet ble ÅKP kåret til beste klyngeorganisasjon i Europa. Det er ikkje tvil om at klynga har gitt heile regionen stor nasjonal og internasjonal oppmerksomhet, i tillegg viktige økonomiske midlar, seier Dalen.


Mr Garden himself believes that cooperation in the maritime industry is more important than ever.

-I firmly believe that many business together can acchieve muche more than what a single company can manage on their own. Yes, these are challenging times that needs change, but we will succeed togehter, Mr Garden concludes.