EDASC's Norway trip fosters overseas opportunities
Thursday, October 03, 2019
NORWAY – EDASC CEO John Sternlicht visited Norway from Sept. 15-20 as part of a state delegation focusing on maritime and clean technology policy.
The delegation, organized by Washington Maritime Blue and Innovation Norway, included policymakers, research directors, public officials and industry leaders from across the state. Sternlicht was joined locally by Sen. Liz Lovelett and Port of Bellingham Director of Economic Development Don Goldberg.
The trip for Sternlicht helped continue fostering Skagit County’s relationship with Norway business leaders. EDASC earlier this year hosted a Norwegian delegation for an in-depth tour of Anacortes’ maritime industry.
This trip, EDASC’s first to Norway, focused on opportunities for joint innovation and forming a collaborative relationship with the county of Møre og Romsdal, a county similar to Skagit County, Sternlicht said.
“We are looking for a place with economic, demographic and commercial commonalities where we can collaborate, get more ideas and do commerce,” Sternlicht said. “It looks very similar to where we live, and a relationship will serve us well as we experience the same challenges and opportunities.”
For example, Skagit County, which is looking to replace its Guemes Island Ferry with an electric ferry, has for years been exploring Norway’s development and use of electric ferries.
“We rode on an electric ferry there and saw how they operated,” Sternlicht said. “They’re less expensive to operate, cleaner and quieter with less underwater disturbance.”
Looking ahead, EDASC, Innovation Norway and Washington Maritime Blue will continue fostering the Skagit County-Norway relationship. This will be important, Sternlicht said, as Innovation Norway wants to create a program bringing Norwegian companies to Washington seeking business opportunities.