NTNU and C4IR Ocean joins forces to build trust in ocean technology

Elisabet Haugsbø
March 04, 2021
Director of AMOS, Professor Asgeir J. Sørensen (left) & CEO of C4IR Ocean, BT Markussen (right)

A new partnership between C4IR Ocean and the NTNU is founded to establish trust in ocean data collected from autonomous vehicles

Oslo 04.03.2021

A new partnership between the Centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution Ocean and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is founded to establish trust in ocean data collected from autonomous vehicles.

Autonomy, where machines work with the limited aid of humans, is set to transform our economy and the way we conduct science. Autonomous cars, ferries, and even planes are being planned to revolutionize transportation, autonomous deliveries are being developed to reshape commerce, and autonomy is already changing how we measure and monitor the ocean – especially the deepest and most remote parts of the ocean.

Autonomous data collection, from gliders, unmanned submarines, buoys, and other devices, is already a reality that has been catapulted into the mainstream by the circumstances of COVID-19, which has made traditional means of collecting ocean data, from ships and in the field, almost impossible. But as we rely more and more on robots to collect critical ocean data, will it be useful and trusted by policymakers, or will we all be drowned in mountains of streaming big data from the ocean?

Answering this question is the challenge of a newly created Hoffman Fellowship in Building Trust for Ocean Data – a 3-year Postdoc position supported by NTNU and the World Economic Forum, and hosted by NTNU and the C4IR Ocean, an international search is underway for a young, academic innovator that can pioneer technical and cultural approaches to making sure that the ocean data collected by robots is both trustworthy and trusted.

“NTNU and SINTEF are honoured and grateful that we, together with our partners C4IR Ocean and WEF, can leverage the efforts on handling big data at a high quality. The value for us and the society is based on trusted data” – Prof. Asgeir J. Sørensen.

By bringing together C4IR Ocean and NTNU, supported by World Economic Forum, we will bring together the latest thinking in data, technology, science, and industrial innovation to try to change how evidence informs ocean management and, in doing so, seeks to find new ways for science and data to inform a sustainable blue economy.

“The ambition of the C4IR Oceans flagship project, the Ocean Data Platform, is to establish the largest and most inclusive hub for ocean data. Establishing trust in ocean data collected from autonomous vehicles is key for decision-makers to be able to rely on these data as a basis for ocean management. We truly look forward to the results from the joint Fellowship with NTNU” — Bjørn Tore Markussen, CEO C4IR Ocean.


  • Digital and Cultural Approaches to Building Trust in Ocean Data

  • The three-year Hoffmann Fellowship term is co-hosted evenly between the World Economic Forum and NTNU.

  • Intending to examine the barriers that diminish trust in big ocean data, both digital and cultural, and examine the solutions that might overcome these barriers. 

  • Focusing on selected pilots that examine new streams of big ocean data related to the maritime industries.

  • Residing jointly at the Ocean Space Centre in Trondheim hosted by NTNU and SINTEF Ocean and the C4IR Ocean and will support joint work involving science, governance, and industry.


The World Economic Forum has set up 13 centres for the 4th Industrial Revolution across the globe. The centres work with governments, leading companies, civil society, innovators and science experts from different sectors to explore how to maximize the benefits of modern technology to solve important societal tasks.  Located in Oslo, Norway, the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Ocean is the only centre solemnly focusing on ocean challenges. C4IR Ocean was initially founded by the Aker Group and World Economic Forum one and a half year ago, now with a growing network of 16 partners.


NTNU is a university with an international focus, with headquarters in Trondheim and campuses in Ålesund and Gjøvik. NTNU has a main profile in science and technology, a variety of programmes of professional study, and great academic breadth that also includes the humanities, social sciences, economics, medicine, health sciences, educational science, architecture, entrepreneurship, art disciplines and artistic activities.

CONTACT: Bjørn Tore Markussen, CEO C4IR Ocean, Tel: +47 909 15668

Asgeir Sørensen, Director of AMOS, Tel: +47 918 97 457


Elisabet Haugsbø

C4IR Ocean

Director of Customer Success