Aluminum Cluster in Iceland
Over 30 companies and institutions in Iceland have established the Icelandic Aluminum Cluster. The founding companies work in or for the aluminum industry in Iceland in the areas of production, service, processing and development of aluminum production. The objective is to increase the competitiveness of the participating companies in the cluster through increased cooperation and exposure, research and innovation in the field. Among the founders are aluminum producers, engineering firms, mechanical shops, equipment suppliers, logistic firms, shipping companies, construction and financial firms, as well as research and educational institutions. Mannvit is among the founding companies of the cluster. Mannvit holds a majority share in HRV Engineering, which is specialized in servicing the aluminum industry, and has a wealth of experience in the field.
Ragnheidur Elín Árnadóttir, Minister of Industry, gave a speech at the inauguration of the cluster that took place on June 29th. Björg Ásta Þórðardóttir lawyer from the Federation of Icelandic industries discussed cluster cooperation from the competitive point of view; Hannes Ottósson from Innovation Center Iceland discussed cluster theories and opportunities accompanying cluster cooperation. Guðbjörg Hrönn Óskarsdóttir, a chemical engineer and former project manager at Innovation Center Iceland was announced as the cluster’s Manager.
Aluminum Industry's Strong Position in the Economy
In recent years, a cluster of companies has been built up around the aluminum industry in Iceland, which includes firms from the energy and aluminum industry. The annual direct and indirect contribution of the aluminum industry to GDP was approximately 6.8% in 2011 and 2012, according to a report by University of Iceland‘s Institute of Economic Studies. At the annual meeting of The Icelandic Association of Aluminum Producers in Iceland, Mr. Ragnar Gudmundsson, Chairman of the association, made a point that the aluminum industry bought products and services for ISK 25 billion last year from over 700 domestic companies. The smelters produced 850 thousand tons of aluminum and the total export value amounted to ISK 227 billion. Aluminum's share of export has grown steadily and is now 40% of product exports, similar to the weight of seafood in product exports. Domestic spending in Iceland was roughly ISK 80 billion ($0,6 billion).