Revolutionizing Ocean Research with Rev Ocean

A new visionary project from Norway will provide a HQ and a ship for scientists doing ocean research

By Synnøve Marie Kvam

© Rev Ocean, used with permission.

The game-changing REV Ocean Research Expedition Vessel is set to launch in 2021.

It has a threefold benefit for ocean citizens: It will be an extraordinary resource for ocean scientists, explorers and those willing and able to fund it. The REV Ocean ship is part of another threefold plan consisting of the vessel, the planned World Ocean Headquarters in Oslo, Norway, and a global open Ocean Data Platform.


The mission is to redefine how we collect, share and apply scientific data on the oceans, and to equip scientists and researchers with what they need to create sustainable solutions and put those into action.

The REV Ocean Ship. © Rev Ocean, used with permission.

REV Ocean – The ship


The REV Ocean ship is a gift package to scientists, and comes complete with equipment and funding for those selected.


Equipped to conduct research into all aspects of marine ecosystems, much of the technology onboard has been developed by world-leading companies in Norway. Projects will be selected based on the recommendations of an independent scientific committee to ensure the resources are applied to the very highest scientific standards. The vessel can host 60 scientists and 30 crew at any one time.


The ship has the capacity and range to carry out expeditions anywhere in the world, exploring and conducting research, operating autonomously for up to 114 days. A third of the time, the vessel will be available for charter to private individuals, companies and institutions aiming to improve their awareness of the ocean. With a capacity of 28 guests and 54 crew, the income will help fund research operations.


Speaking of funding, the entire initiative is a result of the ambitions of Kjell Inge Røkke, a Norwegian billionaire who made large portions of his fortune through his shipping and fisheries business. Witnessing the degradation of the ocean, Røkke is determined to give back. He has also signed the Giving Pledge, created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, “an effort to help address society’s most pressing problems by inviting the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit to giving more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes either during their lifetime or in their will.”

Rev Ocean World Ocean Headquarters. © Rev Ocean, used with permission.

World Ocean Headquarters

REV Ocean has partnered with WWF, IOC of UNESCO, UN Environment, BI Norwegian Business School, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research and others to create an unprecedented global ocean solution center. «The planned World Ocean Headquarters in Oslo will facilitate the gathering of world-class knowledge, innovation and research communities,” said Nina Jensen, CEO of REV Ocean, at the launch of this part of the company’s future plans.


The headquarters will "bring together knowledge-based institutions in the marine sector.

including sustainable fisheries and ocean management, shipping, marine technology, aquaculture, public and private sector initiatives, NGOs and educational institutions. By gathering such organisations under one roof and creating an ocean research and innovation hub, we will enable sustainable solutions to develop to solve the challenges facing the oceans," according to a statement from the company.

© Rev Ocean, used with permission.

The Ocean Data Platform

Global research on oceans remains limited, and lack of knowledge is a challenge for global marine scientists interested in producing actionable data to bring to the attention of policymakers, in order for them to make informed decisions. Another part of the challenge is that available scientific data is collected in a number of smaller platforms, websites and repositories that are difficult to navigate and require a steep learning curve just to open a dataset. The mission of the Ocean Data Platform is to change this situation and create one comprehensive, all-encompassing open platform to combine all ocean data available on the planet. By systematising available knowledge and data, and creating an open source for scientists, businesses, policymakers, and the general public, REV Ocean will be able to help address major marine conservation challenges.

Any one of the parts of this three-fold plan has the potential to greatly contribute to scientific marine research and decision-making. Combined, they can be a powerful force in the process of saving and healing our oceans!

Synnøve Marie Kvam is the Chair of Tsavo Conservation Group's Nordic branch, she is head of its Stabilization through Conservation (StabilCon) advisory council, and she is a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society. Additionally, she collaborates with Impactvista, an international company dedicated to matching investors and businesses with entrepreneurs and sustainable initiatives. In 2018, to further merge her projects and passions, she founded the consultancy company Sparkle! 

Synnøve is a member of the Board of Directors of The Explorers Club in NYC, and is also chair of the Explorers Club Norway Chapter. She also holds a key role in the organization's Sustainability Task Force working to adopt environmentally sound practices.


Inspired by explorer Thor Heyerdahl to become an archaeologist, she earned a Bachelor Degree in Archaeology from University College London and a Master's Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from University of Sydney. She has conducted fieldwork on sites in Peru, the Caribbean, Belize and elsewhere. She formerly served as Guest Services Manager and Coordinator of the Education Program at The Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, Norway, and formerly part of the Norwegian Defence Research Institute TERRA (Terrorism and Asymmetric Warfare) project.


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© World Ocean Observatory 2019