About Biotech North


Biotech North is a Triple Helix industry cluster within biotechnology and biomarine sector with the headquarters in Tromsø in Northern Norway.

The unique marine resources from the Arctic, modern labs with highly advanced equipment, local infrastructure and a well-organized business incubator make it possible for start-up companies to run their operations successfully, and make Biotech North a global knowledge hub for blue bioeconomy based on biotechnology competence on the world class level.

As bioactive molecules and compounds from Arctic marine resources form the basis of activities for the majority of the cluster members, Biotech North serves as a marine biotech cluster. The industrial actors are established based on utilizing rest raw material and marine bioprospecting.

Among the total 36 members of Biotech North, 22 of them are biotech entrepreneurs and companies from fisheries and aquaculture. Others are R&D players and innovation actors. Our services within the cluster are established to reach the goal with a purpose to strengthen innovation and internationalization of the biotech cluster. We provide courses and workshops, network activities to connect people, cluster development, and marketing/profiling services. Biotech North is a part of the Norwegian Innovation Clusters, which is a government supported cluster program. The program is organized by Innovation Norway, and supported by Siva (The Industrial Development Corporation of Norway) and the Norwegian Research Council.

Biotech North story

From Tromsø there is a short way to the Arctic Sea. We have a rich tradition of demanding expeditions and cautious use of marine resources; to exploit what we find in the best possible way. We uncover all the opportunities and value the sea creates by means of our skilled research base and scientific knowledge.

We are determined to be among the very best and we have an enormous advantage that the cluster of Tromsø cooperates with the best experts in the world.

We have vessels, laboratories, testing and production facilities, which makes it possible to create value all the way from idea to market. By linking academic research with the ability to see opportunities, we develop new ideas that become commercial successes. Combining unique resources and knowledge is what will create success and make an international impact in the new bioeconomy.

Tromsø environment is a complete cluster with the country’s best infrastructure for marine biotechnology. We are in a city with a university and with politicians who are dedicated to make Tromsø to “the hot spot for blue biotech.

Vision & strategy

Our vision is: Biotech North – the hot spot for blue biotech

Strategy and goals are rooted in the revised Strategic Plan for BTN 2016-2018. The strategic plan is going to be revised autumn 2016.

Social impact goals: BTN will contribute to the ‘green shift’, with increased economic profitability and more knowledge-based jobs in the blue bioeconomy. This includes sustainable business development, where social, economic and environmental factors play together (see the figure).


Primary goals: The primary goal for BTN is to establish an attractive biotechnology cluster that would contribute via national and international cooperation to the increased business activity in the region, create networking and specialized skills building opportunities. The cluster will strengthen its position of the capital for blue biotechnology.


  • Contribute to increasing entrepreneurship in the region with more expansive companies
  • Contribute to increasing a number of innovation projects, and cross-industry projects within digital life/Big Data, space and earth, process technology
  • Increase cluster’s service-based offer that would generate revenue
  • Recruit new members
  • Increase attractiveness of the cluster nationally and internationally; Initiate cooperation with international partners and other clusters
  • Develop further and professionalize cluster organization, build up systems and routines.


Strategic focus areas are:

  1. Cluster development
  2. Innovation; within marine residual materials, new marine resources and bioprospecting
  3. Competence development
  4. Internationalization