Horten, situated on the west side of the Oslo fjord about 50km from Oslo, is the home of Kongsberg Norcontrol (KNC).
Around 60 KNC staff are based in Horten and the company also has about 40 employees spread across offices in Singapore, India and the UK where some of its major customers are located.
Although under the umbrella of Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, KNC specialises in maritime surveillance or what it likes to call ‘Maritime Domain Awareness’
Per-Erik Kristoffersen, president KNC explains “KNC has three focus areas: vessel traffic services, maritime security and offshore energy. We provide products and services for civilian, private customers and public authorities such as coastal administrations, ports, military armed forces. Much of what we do relates to safety, efficiency, environment and asset protection.”
Per-Erik says the scale of KNC’s services and products can be summed up as “monitoring threats on and below the water as well as providing situational awareness, decision support and information management.” To do this KNC has provided more than 250 surveillance systems to more than 25 countries. Included in these are VTS services for the Norwegian Coastal Administration, the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Port of Singapore and VTS for many of India’s major ports.
Innovations such as AIS and other digitalisation advances have transformed marine traffic management in the 21st Century to the point where e-navigation services, autonomous ships and AI are promising a sea change in the way the marine environment will be controlled in the future. These are areas where KNC is most active.
While KNC provides the software and hardware for current systems, Per-Erik says “We are more than just a system integrator and products company. Going from the traditional deliveries, we’re moving into services where we can deliver tailored solutions. Licencing and cloud-based software as a service solutions will be even more in demand going forward. We think this is an exciting development and we’re busy adapting our products and services to meet future customer and market needs – in addition to the traditional services which we provide for the authorities.”
Per-Erik, a former navy officer and technician has worked for KONGSBERG since 2002 and sees a bright future with KNC having a very successful 2020 despite the problems of COVID. He said that across all divisions of KNC staff rapidly adapted to working remotely. The order success in 2020 he says is perhaps not so surprising given KNC’s security focus at a time when both the public and private sectors have been prioritising security strategies and systems, in addition to KNC’s in-demand remote services.
“We have positioned ourselves in what we think are future markets for the company through development projects and there’s a lot of good collaboration within the Kongsberg Group and between the employees in the KNC company and its subsidiaries. The employees really are making a difference and living the Kongsberg values to contribute to our success,” he concludes.