LØRN Case #C0991
The value of standardization work;
In this episode of #LØRN Silvija talks to the innovation manager at NCE seafood innovation, Björgolfur Hávardsson. Hávardsson describes himself as maniacally interested in fish and explains in the episode why we need a cluster and why he believes that without standardization, all technological development and implementation be very chaotic. He goes on to say that there are two main customer groups that standardization is for, those who develop solutions and services and those who use them.

Björgolfur Hávardsson

Innovation Manager

Seafood Innovation

"Without standardization, all technological development and implementation be very chaotic. The customers will have a lot of non-compatible systems and the digitalization will falter"

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En LØRN CASE er en kort og praktisk, lett og morsom, innovasjonshistorie. Den er fortalt på 30 minutter, er samtalebasert, og virker like bra som podkast, video eller tekst. Lytt og lær der det passer deg best! Vi dekker 15 tematiske områder om teknologi, innovasjon og ledelse, og 10 perspektiver som gründer, forsker etc. På denne siden kan du lytte, se eller lese gratis, men vi anbefaler deg å registrere deg, slik at vi kan lage personaliserte læringsstier for nettopp deg. 

Vi vil gjerne hjelpe deg komme i gang og fortsette å drive med livslang læring.

En LØRN CASE er en kort og praktisk, lett og morsom, innovasjonshistorie. Den er fortalt på 30 minutter, er samtalebasert, og virker like bra som podkast, video eller tekst. Lytt og lær der det passer deg best! Vi dekker 15 tematiske områder om teknologi, innovasjon og ledelse, og 10 perspektiver som gründer, forsker etc. På denne siden kan du lytte, se eller lese gratis, men vi anbefaler deg å registrere deg, slik at vi kan lage personaliserte læringsstier for nettopp deg. Vi vil gjerne hjelpe deg komme i gang og fortsette å drive med livslang læring.

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Who are you, personally and professionally?

At a personal level, I guess I am the clown, but also a dedicated father and partner. I strongly believe in passion. Do what you do with all you have to give. Professionally, well I am very result-oriented, a believer in working hard and delivering on time and as planned. I soak up information and I have a good big picture understanding and some detailed understanding and then I am lousy at saying NO.

What does your organization do, and why do people buy from you/work with you?

In our organization, we work to support sustainable growth in Norwegian aquaculture. We work along three intertwined tracks. Talent development, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Companies work with us because they feel they have a common cause in delivering on our common sustainability ambition, and that we are a company that is achieving something in the field. Some issues are so large and industry-encompassing that one company will not make headway. Together we are strong enough.

What does digital transformation mean to you?

Digital transformation to me is the ability to learn fast, develop quickly and illuminate the way we approach our work and operations through smart use of technology, but not with a focus on tech. It is a little like electrification. One is not interested in the technology of electrification, but what we illuminate with the light.

Your own most important job projects in the last year?

I think that must be the “Land meets Ocean” project. We cooperate with three other clusters across food systems and technology to utilize new resources, open hidden doors and stimulate novel growth across all sectors.

Your 3 best management tips?

Communicate a clear goal. Trust your colleagues. Ask for help/give help when asked.

What motivates your work?

The joy of learning, of seeing my effort amount to something greater than myself. Also, being good at it!

Who are you, personally and professionally?

At a personal level, I guess I am the clown, but also a dedicated father and partner. I strongly believe in passion. Do what you do with all you have to give. Professionally, well I am very result-oriented, a believer in working hard and delivering on time and as planned. I soak up information and I have a good big picture understanding and some detailed understanding and then I am lousy at saying NO.

What does your organization do, and why do people buy from you/work with you?

In our organization, we work to support sustainable growth in Norwegian aquaculture. We work along three intertwined tracks. Talent development, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Companies work with us because they feel they have a common cause in delivering on our common sustainability ambition, and that we are a company that is achieving something in the field. Some issues are so large and industry-encompassing that one company will not make headway. Together we are strong enough.

What does digital transformation mean to you?

Digital transformation to me is the ability to learn fast, develop quickly and illuminate the way we approach our work and operations through smart use of technology, but not with a focus on tech. It is a little like electrification. One is not interested in the technology of electrification, but what we illuminate with the light.

Your own most important job projects in the last year?

I think that must be the “Land meets Ocean” project. We cooperate with three other clusters across food systems and technology to utilize new resources, open hidden doors and stimulate novel growth across all sectors.

Your 3 best management tips?

Communicate a clear goal. Trust your colleagues. Ask for help/give help when asked.

What motivates your work?

The joy of learning, of seeing my effort amount to something greater than myself. Also, being good at it!

Vis mer
Tema: Maritim- og marin teknologi
Organisasjon: Seafood Innovation
Perspektiv: Klynge
Dato: 210525
Sted: VESTLAND
Vert: SS

Dette er hva du vil lære:


Fish lice

2000+ lyttinger

Litteratur:A short story of nearly everything by Bill Bryson (should be a school read for 15 years old). Why we sleep with Mathew Walker, mind-blowing. Need to get my act together there. Also, Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness. The podcast Think again! Viewing, Ex Machina, beautiful cinematography, and serious comment on synthetic intelligence, in terms of power, ethics and empathy.

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Tekst for Case #C0991

My name is Nina Stangeland. I’m the Managing Director of NCE Seafood Innovation. We are a business cluster with different stakeholders in the seafood industry where we work together to contribute to sustainable growth and development of the seafood industry by focusing on innovation. In this podcast series of five together with Lørn Tech and Seafood Innovation and AquaCloud, we try to share our knowledge and experience on the digitalization of the seafood industry. AquaCloud is a seafood industry project where we gather different farmers in the Norwegian aquaculture industry to collect data from different locations where they aim to contribute more insight about the Norwegian aquaculture industry, and we hope to contribute to innovation, better fish health and fish welfare in the Norwegian aquaculture, and also contribute to sustainable growth and development of the industry. Enjoy your learning and enjoy our experience in elaborating this project in this podcast series.

SS: Hello and welcome to a conversation with Lørn. My name is Silvija Seres and my guest today is Björgolfur Hávardsson, who is the Innovation Manager in NCE Seafood Innovation. Welcome your Björgolfur.

BH: Thank you Silvija. I will challenge you and the rest of the world.

SS: It defines you very clearly as an Icelander though. It's a lovely name. I know that Hávardsson means that you are the son of Hávard. But Björgolfur, olfur is just a very common ending of a name.

BH: That's correct. It is the main defined form.

SS: So, all the males have some olfur.

BH: Or the ur ending, but not all. Icelandic grammar is without examples, but there are some examples of that. We have extremely complicated grammar, difficult to be absolute.

SS: Okay. I'll just say a few words about our podcast and our conversation and then we'll jump into it. So, this is conversation number two of five in collaboration with the NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster. It is a National Centre of Excellence focused especially on fish farming and innovation around that, and there are both individual companies and public organizations and research organizations as part of your cluster, and your goal is to improve our collaboration, our technology, and generally innovate around the topic of seafood and fish farming in particular. Is that correctly summarized?

BH: That's correctly summarized.

SS: Very good. You are heading their innovation space and we're going to talk about where Seafood Innovation want to innovate and especially focus on the topic of standardization, why standardization is important in your area, and how will it prove the ability to collaborate and the ability to develop to all of your members? Sounds good?

BH: Absolutely, I'm in the game.

SS: If you're in the game, then we'll start with my usual questions which are always who are you, and what has made you so?

BH: This is probably a question with as many answers as I know people but, as I said, I'm Icelandic, and it defines me to a large degree. I come from a small fishing village with loving parents. That defines me very strongly. I was described in a recent article mainly as a maniac about fish. I'm dedicated to seafood, sport fishing, and everything. But I think I'm a really strong proponent of aquaculture. I'm aware of the issues and the problems we have and work every day to ameliorate or fix them together with our members. I guess I could be started as a positive, happy type, I always try to wear a smile and talk to people like they're my friends or my equals because I've never gotten anywhere by screaming at people. I've tried, but it didn't work. So, I guess I'm literally what you see.

SS: I'd like to add three more things. First of all, you and I became friends five minutes before the conversation. Before we go back to spatial intelligence, I'd like you to comment about your education because you're a marine biologist by trade, right?

BH: Yes, that's correct.

SS: And what's your focus? What was your research or work focused on?

BH: My Masterworks was on designing feed for sea urchin farming at the time back in the late 90s. Sea urchin farming was becoming a very interesting subject because of overfishing in the natural habitat and sea urchins are key species in their area. So, people were seeing some sort of nasty consequences that overfishing has, you will always see it in overexploiting. However, that didn't pan out like it the softness in the world but I got one scientific article to my name, which is all my ambition is that sport, and it opened up a lot of doors for me within my industry and within this sort of life, I've chosen as a fish farmer or being in the space of fish farming. All education will bring something good, even if it's not going to bring you to the goal you thought when you started

SS: I agree. We talked about how our bodies and our physique defines, how we perceive the world, and even how our brain develops. I think also our education is a part of the formation of our statements. I have a Ph.D. in computer science and maths, and I don't use that in my daily work, but it has formed my thinking about, let's say, complexity theory, so I understand what's difficult with Artificial Intelligence and how computers are going that way. So, no education is ever wasted and all education is something that we build upon.

BH: Absolutely. I mean, there's no wrong aspect of educating yourself. It can't go wrong.

SS: You have two degrees.

BH: Yes. I have an agronomy exam from an agricultural College in Iceland, also on fish, so there were two departments, one for the Icelandic horse, breeding, training, and all that, and another for fish farming. That's sort of where I cut my teeth in learning about fish farming. I worked for a couple of years in Icelandic fish farms and found out that I had so many questions that I couldn't get an answer to in that space. So, I moved to Norway with my wife to educate me and she drifted through her education later into aquaculture as well, so now she works as a purchasing manager in a major feat company. The subject of aquaculture tends to pop up during meals, especially when we eat salmon, and that would be two or three times a week.

SS: We eat more fish than the average, twice a week.

BH: Yes, I would think so, all kinds.

SS: Very cool. So, you're based in Bergen and you're part of NCE Seafood Innovation, tell us a little bit about why you ended up there.

BH: It came up as a proposal from a Headhunter I was talking to around another job. I was between jobs and it took like three or four months to find the right job. It's very important to match the job to your personality and your ambitions. While my Headhunter said: Sorry, they picked another one, which is always a little bit...it's always bad to get dumped, let's talk straight, I could understand why they did it. They simply picked up better competency for the job.However, I have another opening, are you interested? Yes, sure. I mean, I'm micro ambitious. I'm always aware of these sort of shiny possibilities that come in from your 6 o'clock, so, yes, sure. I knew the manager at the time. It sure sounded like a cool job. No idea what it included, but it was a game.

SS: And now you are heading Innovation for NCE Seafood. What does that entail? You talk about aquaculture and I call it perhaps a bit irreverently fish farming. First of all, is that a mistake?

BH: No, it's fish farming. This is the core of what we do, we farm animals.

SS: But is it only salmon, or it involves sea urchins and other kinds of fish?

BH: We would call any species in a sort of a big picture. It could be aquaculture just in comprise algae and shellfish, but in Norway, with salmon farming, we also have trout and some Arctic char, so I call it fish farming. That's exactly what we do. Aquaculture when you're talking about all those pieces that are not fish. So, it's a straight-up definition.

SS: Norway is one of the leading countries in the world in fish farming.

BH: In salmon farming.

SS: And it has to do with the temperature of our water, with the geography... Why are we so good at this?

BH: I would take a step back to when I was six years old. There were a couple of guys up in the open Hitra, open Trøndelag, they said: Why don't you try to keep salmon in some kind of pens? Let's test that. I think we are good because we have the coast, we have the fish, but first and foremost, we had the curiosity and the guts to try something crazy as taking the seagoing long wandering species of salmon and keeping them in a net pen. People thought they were off the rockers and what they did actually was to succeed, which was amazing, and they also invited all the people to see what they were doing so they could do the same. So, they ended with some other pioneers and they sort of built this environment of cooperation and enthusiasm in which they burned money, they had catastrophes, but they said that they were not going to give up. So, we are so good at fish farming because people simply did refuse to give up. Tough resilient people who said that maybe there could be something there, and they were going to follow this dream. No matter how crazy they are. If you look at a lot of innovation in the world like telephones, the printing press, and I'm not comparing them in importance, but the mindset behind it, it's so difficult that we simply have to do it. We are actually celebrating the 50th anniversary of these guys this year in a couple of days. I'm 56, so these guys defined my future when I was 6, and I couldn't love them more for that, I mean, they've given me a wonderful interest to work with.

SS: So, this is probably as much a part of Norwegian geography, as an explorer mentality going on.

BH: And they know the possibilities in the ocean.

SS: We've been doing this for 50 years. Why do we need the cluster and why do we need to standardize?

BH: I think the clusters are important for any industry. A cluster is born because there is a group of distinct entities that say to each other: We need to cooperate for a bigger picture. We have common issues, we are all working in the same water so we are in the same boat together. We can find overarching challenges, they're not mine or not yours, they are ours. That's how you set up this environment, this mindset of a cluster, and then the cluster is established as an entity when the companies may have cooperated or felt the need to cooperate, for several years. So, there's a materialism process here. When we applied our cluster back in, I think, 2014 or 2015, the companies behind were sort of the big players in the fish farming industry, both in terms of the fish farmers themselves, major feed companies, several universities, and colleges. There was this sort of the core of cooperation ongoing already that they wanted to formalize and strengthen, and that is the cluster in any industry you will find in the world. It is the will to cooperate. And that's where we are sort of the child of that communion. We get very specific tasks that they want us to work on, and, in our case, that is competency, sustainability, and stimulating new companies to come up with new ideas into the space.

SS: So, we have a large number of companies already, but what I noticed from my technologist's point of view is that there is a lot of interesting technical innovation. I know that there are companies, especially perhaps around the University of Bergen, that now is also responsible for this sustainability goal internationally, and at NTNU there are lots of really cool work being done on everything from fish health and welfare to feeding efficiency, and kind of climate effects of what you're doing. You said that you are also aware of challenges that your industry has and one of your big goals is to fix those challenges. Could you tell us a little bit more about those?

BH: The challenges are diverse. Every time you farm an animal, you have issues. If you take the most obvious ones up through the last 50 years that has been bacterial and viral diseases, sea lice, and the impact we have on our environment, both immediately under and around our sites. But also, where do we harvest our feed from? I mean, to produce 1.1 million tons of fish, you will need a lot of food. Even if they convert it efficiently, you can't use less than, let's say, 1.5 million tons in Norway only, and that has to come from somewhere. And if you walk down that value chain, you always need to know what's happening at the end of it outside our borders, so we need to be aware. You can see the feed companies working on non-forestation issues with Brazilian companies and Norwegian companies who are studying how to reduce the impact on our near area. You have sites that have been decommissioned because we found out they weren't good enough. You can see companies starting to close their cages or gathering what feed comes out of the cages, or looking at what nutrition comes out of the cage, that you can not catch because Its urine, and you can separate that water from the other water. They are deploying a lot of algae farms to achieve a mass balance between what they put out and what it takes out of the water, and in that process of that mass balance work, they also are creating a really valuable feed component for agriculture because there's stuff in algae, I think it's called bromide, that reduces the farting of cows, the gassing of cows. I'm ten years old now, so I might giggle, but the gas from cows is so saturated in methane which is many more times as potent than greenhouse gas, I think I read 40 or 50 times. So, the Norwegian fish farmers are reducing their impact, both carbon wise and nutritional wise, and also creating a valuable component into helping to reach our goals by all the time-binding CO2. To me, it's one of the most beautiful projects I've seen, how you can, if you're smart and lucky, reduce your impact through value-creating and helping somebody else to create value themselves with a reduced environmental cost.

SS: It's not just the triple bottom line, it's a double value chain.

BH: Yes, it is! If you can achieve something like that, you've done a really good job, and this is very scalable because there's a lot of agriculture in Europe, the US, Canada, and Argentina. All of them would benefit from this, so for us with our amazing cost is just an incredible possibility.

SS: Very good. When we talk about these fish farms, if we go back to your kind of basic infrastructure, would you mind defining them or describing them for us? And then let's talk a little bit about infrastructure standardization on that as well. I remember about a year ago I did a conversation with a fish farm somewhere, I think it was Indre Kvarøy very far north, and they were telling me about their 5G infrastructure and their bandwidth, and that blew my mind. So, what is a fish farm today, physically?

BH: There's a lot that you see and you don't see, so, I'll take it from the top side down. You will have several cages, typically four to eight, those are my favorite drinks on the water, and you will often see a barge or a little house in very close proximity. So, the cages are the rings, there is where you have the fish, and they are way bigger than people. Imagine, you can take a typical Boeing 737 and dip it into the cage. If you hold it very gently by the tail and you put it into the cage, the tail will disappear at three meters depth and the wings won't touch anything. That's the size of the cage. People don't quite actually realize that. So, you have the barge, which will be feed storage, a workshop, and aspects like that. If you go into the water you will find anchoring lines, mooring lines, and different infrastructure like a suction system. If you have mortalities, you can remove the dead fish from the bottom of the cage, and that should be more or less a typical seaside.

SS: And the net is made of plastic?

BH: Mostly it's made of nylon 6. It's a material with some challenges, but in terms of reuse and recycling, it's very good.

SS: Is the size of the holes defined by the type of fish, or the age of the fish? Or is it permanent?

BH: Today is usually permanent. We used to have smaller mesh nets for the younger fish and then we switched net with all the fish in it. It's quite a job, but it can be done. Today we mostly put out fairly bigger nets, so we have one size fits all stages. Today we try not to fit nets that much, just keep the fish quiet and let them do their thing.

SS: How long does the fish stay on one farm?

BH: Depending on if you're in the south or north of Norway. In Northern Norway you'd probably be between 12 and 16 months, further south, you will probably be between 8 and 12 months. We have longer parts of the year when the fish grows well. It's based on sea temperature.

SS: So, there is a different set of these areas where you have very small fish and then you move them over to this pen, where they stay for the rest of their life.

BH: They mostly are inland in this first cage, in what we call hatcheries or small farms.

SS: Right. What are you standardising then? Is it technology? The kind of cookbook for infrastructure? The playbook for the optimal feeding strategies?

BH: What we are standardising now is tied to data, but we have a good standard designed 8 or 9 years ago. It's in a series together with Norwegian standard, a sort of official company that is mandatory standardisation in Norway. So, the old standardisation is all about what kind of nets you can have with what kind of ring. They define those major objects. They need to have that strength, and they need to be shown to have no adverse effects on each other. You can't put stuff into the cage equipment in order if it's not tested because it might strain the rings and it might tear the net. That's what we call an NS9415, so we are going into tribal language here. NS is the Norwegian standard and then the number of standards. It's the standard I'm working on, which is more related to definitions and how to use definitions and methods. It's a cookbook of how to define, calculate, or what does that word means for common understanding. I'm working on a tiny chapter within that that is called The standardisation of environmental measurements. So, what are we supposed to measure? When? How often? And how do we share it? And that's a very important part of what we do and especially in terms of AquaCloud and digitalization. If we want to compare and share data, we need to know at what depth overtaking. That's oceanography. What layers do you have? Why are fish doing what they're doing? At what depth? All these things are very important in terms of understanding our industry and then being able to run Big Data and stuff. If I'm working hard, just take a close example from me here in Bergen. If I'm running a fish farm and I could share my environmental data with everybody else and they share with me, we have an incredible amount of data that we can use to analyze or to understand what happened, both in successful and then less successful populations.

SS: Very good. So, then I'm also wondering, where does digitalization come into this picture?

BH: I like the words digital and digital transformation because digitalization to me is so Tech-focused that you look at sensors and you forget that you are actually measuring something.

SS: It's a great distinction, and, to be honest with you, I think that in general too many, both technologists and business leaders, forget to make the distinction that you made now. It's all about what do you want to do with the data in the digital infrastructure? Not about enjoying it there.

BH: And I often sort of compare that to electrification. I don't care what lightbulb you have on your roof, I'm interested in what y

you are lighting with it, what light you are throwing on things, how you understand your environment. I think that's the important thing. So, what we are trying to do is to draw a picture for each other by sharing my data into that larger pool. Other companies can experience based on my either successes or mistakes and they can see their production in terms of the same data. And let's say, if all the fish farmers in the given area share the data in a very coherent way, measurements are taken and documented in understandable places, they can see the data with resources to the Norwegian Marine Research Institute, who are all about modeling to understand where we are at the moment, and where this water mass is heading, or what's coming our way, so we can start to produce weather forecast for the ocean, currents, temperature, and oxygen. And that will directly impact the fish farmers, especially in the winter, when the colder water masses are coming in, but they swirl a lot around the coast, so you might get hot-cold-hot and that might affect if you're developing sea lice. They will develop at a slower rate or faster rate depending on the water temperature, and If you miss that window of operations removing the sea lice, you might have a big problem on your hands because sea lice can grow and spread quickly. That problem can spread like brushfire downstream from me, so I might infect your farm, your farm might infect my other farm downstream from you, etc. So that's why we cooperate on this, both on defining how we do things, but also why we cooperate on projects like that. It's trying to share the maximum amount we can of data within that legal framework of not crossing into an illegal corporation or inside trading, even. The government's barriers are very clear around that, but environmental data is something you can share because you can't hide the sea temperature for me, I can go and measure with myself. That's very open-source data.

SS: I think it's really important. You said that you are standardising for two main customer groups, those who develop solutions and services and those who use them. We talked a lot about those who use these services. Let's talk a little bit about those who develop these things because Norway also has, I think not well enough known, one of the most advanced service industries in this field in the world.

BH: They are huge services. You have both longtime established companies but they also have a lot of up-and-coming companies with new ideas and that's one of the fun parts, meeting all these entrepreneurs with new ideas and they push us to no end to understand, and if you are a small company and you are trying to develop a solution trying to help me improve my harvesting prognosis like Aqua Optima is doing, or you are counting sea lice or understanding the biomass in the cage, like Fishency. All these companies need access to data. Someday they generate themselves, but they need to get their hands on this data to get their products and development up to the next level. That's how we generate value, by stimulating the small companies to get their hands on data, which is what we're doing right now.

SS: But it's also giving them good ideas about what they want to do with the data, so, as you said, they could use them to predict, to optimise, perhaps even to plan.

BH: Absolutely. And these companies I mentioned are doing exactly these three moments you're talking about, and to me, one of the most important things of this is also the learning, giving the data or making the data available to researchers, both in advanced research programs, doctorates, or master degree students. By nature, you don't know what's in your data. You know what you know, but the innovative thoughts, the research, might discover issues, possibilities, or problems, that have been marking our industry and we just spotted this ocean of data or lack of data. So, you never know what you need to be looking for.

SS: I like this idea of an ocean of data, by the way. We talk about data lakes but we really should be talking about data oceans, and it has to do with them being both big, but very connected.

BH: Absolutely. And there are no limits to that ocean because you never know if farmers in Scotland would share data or farmers in the Faroe Islands would share data, and that's how they experience some phenomena that can apply to our data or data as well. You never know that.

SS: So, this is also an international invitation. This is not just an invitation to people in Norway working with fish farming, both on the service side and on the customer side, but also internationally, it would be really interesting to collaborate on seeing what patterns occur in fish farming across geographies and maybe even across markets.

BH: Absolutely. And we know that both Chilean and Scottish farmers are very aware of what we are doing. They are doing some aspects of it themselves, the Chilean Farmers have their own app, where they share sea lice data, so they understand what's happening in their area, which I find very important and very interesting. Icelandic fish farmers have a fish farming dashboard online, where they lay open a lot of what they're doing monthly. It's not granulated enough, but you need to start somewhere, and building trust is the first thing you need to do. You need to work together with interest on it. But I mean, we are working with the same fish, in the same type of environments, obviously, we are going to learn from each other. AquaCloud is sort of the touch paper for that, the more, the better, and we have companies in the cluster from all over the world. I mean, we are the Norwegian sort of center of expertise, but we have members in India and Australia, so we couldn't be more far-reaching than that. There's nobody on the moon right now, but we would reach out to them if there were.

SS: An interesting moon fish farming!

BH: There's a fish called MoonFish.

SS: I like this idea of digital modelling. You are talking about people who don't like using the words digital twins without defining it, so I believe that this digital twin concept is a wonderful picture that helps people understand what the Fourth Industrial Revolution is about. So basically we get a very basic set of data, then we can build on that, and you get a first drawing or plan of a farm, and then you can put in sensors, so you can see the movements, the health, the stability and so on. If we have these digital twins of your different fish farms we can improve their productivity but we can also improve sustainability by helping fish. I think we're still in the process of defining what data, sustainability, and efficiencies are the best and most important to improve. I keep hearing you and your other colleagues go back to the problem of lice, is that one of the biggest problems we have?

BH: It is without discussion. The discussion is high about whether or not it impacts wild salmon stocks, but my position is that I stick to science as far as it's documented, if science changes, I will change my opinion. I stick to what is more or less the consensus right now, but I'm always open to change my mind about that. It's a terrible mind, the one that doesn't change. So, sea lice are costing the economy, if we just go ice cold down on Norwegian Kroner, the treatment, the loss of his type of treatments, the loss of feeding days, use of Manpower and equipment or woman power, to be correct here, we see about a net loss of about 5 billion NOK, that's a trade-off the bottom line. And so if you just want to use that scale, sea lice and the implications of sea lice treatment are a major problem. If the worst scenarios about the impact on wild salmon stocks are true, It's detrimental to the stocks. If the best numbers, almost positive numbers are correct, we have little impact on whilst some stocks. There is a principle in the Norwegian law of natural richness, you should be aware and prepared and always take the worst case as your baseline, and then you will raise that bar depending on what ongoing research would show. So, we need to be careful as a basis for that law. Fish farms are always pushing the boundaries and the limits as everybody would do in any industry. I mean, no industry doesn't push the limits of science and doesn't push the limits of the legal environment all the time. I think that no matter what we need to do, in terms of just taking care of our fish, we need to get around this problem with sea lice, and not kill thousands of fish in sea lice treatments. That's a question of ethics and a question of destroying food, and that's not ethical either.

SS: Agreed. And I think if we're going to be able to maintain this industry long term, we have to do it in a sustainable long-term focused way and have to do with happy fish. I would like to ask you to comment briefly on the three major standardisation projects that you have now. One is about the sensor coordination, the other one is the categorization of mortalities, and the third one is the environmental measurements.

BH: I'll take it in the same direction or same row. The standardisation is literally a text standard, because we have, as in so many other industries, a lot of suppliers who have their in-house standards and their way of conveying data electronically, so what that standard is all about, is taking all these different machine languages and putting them into a translation box. It's a Babel Fish. For those who are familiar with Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, it was the fish you could put in your ear and you could understand every language. I would love to have one. This is the Babel Fish of technology in our fish farms. It will take all these diverse sensors who don't necessarily work together and translate them into a unified language that is a business intelligence system where you are looking at your data and your managing analysis, so it doesn't matter what supply you have, your data will be there intact and in good shape. This is very important now that we are gathering actual surveillance and feeding systems into one sort of Houston's Space Station like Central's, so you need to get diverse sensors into one comprehensive picture. Mostly we have a beta or VHS discussion going on there. We are trying to unify that into an MP3 format if you like. So, the next one is the standardisation of mortalities, and I'm going all CSI on you now, but that fish has a lot to say, you just have to know how to read it. If you can understand why that individual or group of fish die, usually all of them don't die, it may be 21 or maybe 200 fish, or it may be something in between, but you have to remember that there are 200,000 fish in this cage, so, if 20 fish died, that wouldn't be especially much in the human population of equal age. Those fish may have died from one or a combined group of reasons. If we can read that into environmental situations like an algae bloom, you might experience the fish as having choked, you will see them have wide open gills and mucus on the gills, so they obviously died from a respiratory problem. But is this oxygen? Is it algae? Or is it poison salty? Or is it, I think they're called diatomea? They have really barbed shells on them, so it's like breathing in glass. So, okay, you can put it into a major component respiratory, then you can break it down into these algae and even the species, and then you can say the fish died of this. And you have this date, this temperature, this oxygen, and these currents, so that's a lesson to learn for next year. Some companies have applied their own Big Data and AI to understand reoccurring problems. They were good at stating why the fish died, on environmental measurements, and then they were able to tie this all together in action. So, they went from this happens frequently and they took it over to no, we don't accept that happening frequently. When this date or this month of this period comes, we can now say we do this and then we avoid that problem. That is the point. That's why we are CSI on the fish, that fish speaks to coin a phrase.

SS: Can I just ask you a quick question? I see that we are running out of time as well, but this is just so interesting. So, would it be possible to also install visual sensors and cameras, and then combine them with AI to recognize some of these algae? I don't know how much the water changes, but I guess this stuff floating in the water would be possible to catch.

BH: Water changes incredibly and one of our members in the cluster has an extremely advanced system up and running in Canada, where they use satellites to spot algae. Then they use localised sensors to understand where that patch of algae is going, algae can be like a patch floating on the sea. When they see that this patch of algae is heading for a fish farm, they start doing actions on the fish farms: they stop feeding, then the fish goes deeper, they take water samples and put them in a microscope on-site, so one of the the the site staff is trained as a sort of algae biologist. So, they go sampling and they say I have no idea what I'm looking at, so they take a picture and send it to a specialist in Vancouver or somewhere, at the University or to research. They are on the ball from the get-go. In this way to use Big Data and to empower your own employees, there is magic to it. You are empowering, you're not reducing the number of stuffers. You are empowering them to take the right action to help them in supporting their decisions. Give people back up because there's a lot of good fish farmers out there. They have this good gut feeling about what's happening, but they don't necessarily have the data to support it. Now you can do that. And the last part that I'm doing with the environmental standards is literally focusing on that the fish farms know that this data is comprehensive. It's the same data as I'm picking up in my older sites but they are all comprehensive, so you can see the water profiled through this sensor. Otherwise, we're going to be taking samples all over the place and nobody can compare anything, and that data is the worst nightmare.

SS: And I guess this is also where it gets very interesting across subjects. Do you work with meteorologists, oceanologists, and all kinds of people in order to understand what's happening with the salinity, the temperatures, and global warming when it comes into the picture as well?

BH: We are working with the Marine Research Institute, which is a major player in understanding the ocean. They are setting up a network of surveillance along the coast to understand the ocean better, to be able to model it better, and to be able to, like you said, survey for the effects of global warming or the acidification of the ocean. We don't know how that's going to strike us. We have no idea, it may be slow, it may be fast. But the other thing is every model needs an input to adjust, otherwise, it's just going to spin more and more out of kilter. Imagine if you had eight hundred fish farms in Norway pouring their local data into this model, it would be a robust model and it would be unique in the world. Let's say you get Scottish, Faroese, Icelandic, and Canadian farmers as well and we will have several microcosmos where we understand our fjords and ecosystems really well, that was one of the points. I'm very keen on understanding the ecosystem we are operating in. Otherwise, you're like a blind person fixing a clock. We must not be blind fixing this clock.

SS: And this is basically where it brings us to sustainability as well. It's not something that we just do on paper or in our annual report, you are talking about it as a multitude. This is the power of numbers.

BH: This is the power of numbers, choices, and decisions. You need always to know that this is something we do when we place all the fish farms. We have something called environmental surveillance. We check afterward how we are impacting. If you don't have these numbers or this data, you will not be able to manage your fish farm in a good way. You will have some impact, obviously, everything does, but if that impact is too severe the government reduces a part of your quota so you can produce as much. So, you need to find that balance, that production quota that the environment actually can handle. Sometimes, as we are experiencing now, our weather patterns are changing. It may sound ridiculous to most people but we are getting less severe westerly storms here on the West Coast and we are depending on us to push freshwater mass over the threshold. Our fjords are very deep but they have thresholds, literally thresholds, where the water is pushed over and into the basement behind. And there are two fjords in the north of Bergen that are now significantly and adversely affected because we have less severe storms. So now at least two companies are reducing their production in that area or have to go to completely closed farming. So that's what technology can cross over into your space, by changing your method, you might reduce that impact in vulnerable places. But that is people always talking about climate change and changing weather systems as its own future prospect. The future is here and it's hitting us really quickly. If we don't actually think that it's going to hit us badly whatever we do right now, I think we've crossed the point of no return.

SS: At least we can try to build some grit and robustness, and work together.

BH: If you don't know what's happening, it's going to really happen in the worst possible way. I think we need to be working much more than as well to future-proof our operations.

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Quiz for Case #C0991

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C0991 OCEANTECH The value of standardization work; - med Björgolfur Hávardsson

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Why do we have an innovation cluster for aquaculture?

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How can sharing of data help fight lice?

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How can standardization help individual companies?

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