30 Norwegian future leaders travelled for an intensive study trip to Milan and Madrid

31.03.14 – 04.04.14 – 30 Norwegian future leaders have travelled for an intensive study trip to Milan and Madrid as part of the Seafood Competence Program developed by Innovation Norway in cooperation with one of Norway’s most important Business Schools.

Image: Offical Logo - Innovation Norway and NHH

Image: Offical Logo – Innovation Norway and NHH

Due to the importance of the Norwegian Seafood industry and its high potential on the global markets, the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal affairs in cooperation with Innovation Norway created a special program, named Marine Value Creation Program (MVP) in order to strengthen the position and the competiveness of the Norwegian seafood industry on the global markets.

As a main part of this MVP, Innovation Norway together with one of the most important Business schools of Norway, situated in Bergen (Norges Handelshøyskole – NHH), developed a special seafood competence program with a high market orientation in order to give Norwegian seafood producers expertized knowledge, to increase the overall competence and competiveness as well as preparing and assisting them to adapt to the actual and challenging global market conditions.

The main focus of the program is strategic management and international marketing, especially branding, on which the industry has aspects to catch up/improve. Even if Norway’s seafood producers are among the best in the world, there are some lacks, when it comes to the selling strategies. Even though they are adapting successfully to the changing marketplaceand are doing continuously better, as the constantly increasing selling figures are proving.

Besides that a further goal of the program is the networking and a dynamic interaction between companies and the marketplace, improving the understanding of activities and synergies all along the value chain.

The program has already been implemented seven times and consists of several intensive meeting sessions, over 2-3 days, spread over one year, containing theoretical and practical based lessons. Furthermore it includes a study trip abroad, to two different destinations of high importance for the Norwegian seafood industry. This year Milan and Madrid were chosen as final destinations. The study trip started Monday, the 31st of April in Milan and ended the 4th of April in Madrid.

Spain – an important market for the Norwegian seafood industry with an increasing potential as figures are showing

For the fifth time, the seafood competence program has chosen Madrid as one of their travel destinations as part of their study trip. This is on the one hand related to the great importance of the Spanish market for the Norwegian seafood industry and on the other hand to the positive feedback of the former participants.

30 students, all experienced employees of Norwegian seafood companies and future leaders, had a very tight scheduled program during these four days, organized by the Innovation Norway offices abroad (Madrid and Milan).

This included theoretical lectures about market strategies, branding as well as about customer needs and market analyses, held by different experienced international speakers.  Furthermore the Director of the Madrid´s Innovation Norway office, Håkon Hauan, the Norwegian Seafood Council´s Spanish representative, Hildegunn Fure Osmundsvåg and the Minister-Counselor of the Norwegian embassy in Madrid Lars Andersen were focusing on the Spanish market peculiarities and market potentials.

Furthermore a visit to Merca Madrid, the second world largest fish market, was on the schedule, both for networking and matchmaking contacts.

As a final highlight of the study trip, the 30 students were received by the Norwegian Ambassador in Spain, Johan Christopher Vibe at the Norwegian Embassy’s Residence, enjoying an interesting and very welcoming last evening.

Image: Innovation Norway Madrid

Image: Innovation Norway Madrid

As a conclusion to be drawn after these days, it can be stated, that even if Spain is still passing through the difficulties of the economic crisis, the figures of an increasing import of Norwegian seafood show the importance of the Norwegian Seafood industry for the Spanish market, even in times of economic recession. This market potential should as well as the Spanish customer needs been taken in serious consideration by the Norwegian companies.

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