The Federation of Norwegian Manufac-turing Industries (TBL) is Norway's biggest industrial organization and by far the largest federation within the Norwegian Confederation of Business and Industry (NHO). TBL represents industrial sectors ranging from mechanical and electrical engineering to IT, furnishing, and textile industries, counting 1,220 member companies that employ 92,000 people.
TBL works in two main areas – industrial policy and employers' issues. It focuses on developing contacts with politicians and government authorities, workers' organizations, other trade groups, major customer groups, research and educational institutions, and developmental and funding bodies.
TBL Offshore represents companies in the service and supply industry and has put a comprehensive program in place to encourage increased effort in research and development. Within Norway, it has set up R&D Team Norway with representation from operators, main contractors, systems and supply companies, universities, and research institutes with the Research Council and Energy Ministry as observers. The Demo 2000 program aimed at developing and qualifying new technology for future challenges in field development was initiated from R&D Team Norway with TBL support and has facilitated projects worth about NKr 1 billion.
TBL and R&D Team Norway together with its sister organizations in Europe set up Eurogif to bring a coordinated approach to the opportunities in the EU framework programs. The fifth framework program has provided support to a number of Eurogif-sponsored networks with good Norwegian participation. Norwegian companies like Det Norske Veritas in case of the Health, Safety, and Environment network Trends and Aker Kværner in case of the floating structures network Floattech have taken on the responsibility of providing network leadership and coordination.
From TBL's point of view, Eurogif is seen as an opportunity to strengthen cooperation, develop R&D opportunities, and provide a consistent industry view to European institutions like the commission and the parliament. Through Eurogif, we seek to establish a mutually beneficial partnership where the industry can flourish, providing Europe with the energy it needs, while always being mindful of developing technologies and procedures able to meet ever more stringent environmental requirements.
Hydrogen is increasingly seen as the fuel of the future in combination with renewable energy to meet the Kyoto and Gøteborg agreements. Hydrogen will also in the future be reformed from natural gas with CO2 as a by-product that will have to be captured, put to commercial use, or deposited to avoid emissions. Similar technologies for capturing and managing CO2 from gas-fired power stations will have to be developed to reduce emissions, opening up opportunities for clean electricity and hydrogen from natural gas. These options are being developed in the Eurogif gas chain network, where both national and company-wide R&D will be brought in.
Sharing challenges and knowledge will produce viable solutions. The future is energy. Eurogif and TBL will be part of that future, developing ever cleaner technology and applying knowledge and technologies to accelerate the development and uptake of renewables.