DKK 12 million are to retain and bring new jobs in the wind turbine industry throughout the North Jutland region.
The business network Hub North for suppliers to the wind turbine industry is now a permanent institution in northern Denmark. The 12 million to be used for the three-year start phase have been found, and the initiators are now working to effectively and permanently bring together of all the wind turbine players in the region.
A close-knit cluster of organisations that knows the strengths and weaknesses of each, is the only chance of standing out in an industry with a tough, hard-nosed competition on the global market.
Hub North is a northern Danish network with targeted profiling within wind energy. The operators are companies active within the windmill industry, directly or as subcontractors to larger manufacturers. The business network has existed as a pilot project since March of this year and already has 80 members. The region is estimated to have up to 150 subcontractors to the wind turbine industry.
Growth Forum North Jutland has granted half of the sum needed, in all six million Danish kroner, to the work of bringing subcontractors together. The other six million Danish kroner come from the Port of Aalborg A/S, Aalborg Samarbejdet, Aalborg Business Council, Aalborg University, Erhvervskontorerne in North Jutland, Aalborg Municipality’s Commercial Section and others.
The Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority must formally grant the aid that the Growth Forum is recommending.
The Growth Forum explained the rather large sum for a single project with these words:
“It concerns a relevant project with great innovative value. It is the first time anyone has attempted to establish such an extensive network to promote wind energy in the region, with the participation of companies, the university and the established trade promoting system”.
The money is a start package for the first three years. The supplier cluster is then expected to be so established that the collaboration will take off on its own.
Mayor Henning G. Jensen, Chairman of Aalborg Samarbejdet and Aalborg Business Council, two of the main sponsors, sees the grant as an expression of the fact that targeted efforts are now being made regarding one of North Jutland’s positions of strength.
“With this project, we are creating the basis for the establishment of some of the future workplaces in North Jutland”.
Claus Holstein, chairman of Hub North and CEO of the Port of Aalborg, is pleased with the grant and promises maximum effort to bring wind turbine players together for the benefit of the entire region and for the entire Danish wind turbine industry.
“We are humbled and thank Growth Forum for the money, but at the same time, it is also a confirmation that our thinking with regard to such a network has been right all along”.
The Growth Forum expects the Hub North project to see employment in the wind turbine industry grow by 10 percent.
“This figure concerns production itself. But it is a growing industry, so the figure will likely be even higher when we include jobs with academics and the people we attract from the outside”, says Claus Holstein.
We need to be visible
Hub North has already seen that the wind turbine suppliers are finding and using each other in just the few short months the business network has existed.
“It is important that we maintain that development. And if they are going to keep finding each other, it is critical to have a network with a skilled team. This is such an enormous project that we need to have people in the engine room at all times. And they must be committed individuals employed on a full time basis and who are passionate about the field. Fortunately, the Growth Forum has seen and accepted that permanent staff and visibility are a necessity for Hub North. That is how networks work in other regions and in the rest of the world”, says chairman Claus Holstein.
Personally, he is particularly happy that the committee also has testing facilities on the list of projects.
“For me as chairman, testing facilities represent a special little endearing child. At the same time, we are working on setting up 0-series wind turbines in our area”, Holstein says.
A project manager position for Hub North has been advertised.