Iceland's abundance of geothermal and hydro energy, rich fishing grounds, and experimental setting for drug discovery were factors in its trajectory of developing advanced Green-tech, Blue-tech, and life sciences sectors.
For most of Iceland's history, the hot water boiling out of the ground was a nuisance that would spoil hayfields and maybe help with laundry. It was only in the 1930s when the City of Reykjavík re-purposed some old mining equipment into drilling for hot water to heat homes that the geothermal revolution began. Today, Icelandic geothermal and hydroelectric know-how is put to work globally to design renewable systems to power the world.
Iceland's Blue-tech sector is advancing a variety of technologies across maritime industries for more sustainable oceans. The scope of Blue-tech is wide and includes aquaculture, algaculture, ship design, data management, enhanced logistics, and advanced robotic processing. For example, Icelandic companies are making the most of every gram of fish. And when you process as much fish as Iceland, these grams add up to hundreds of tons annually! High-tech processing solutions and software from Iceland scan, fillet, pack, and freeze a wide variety of fish (and other proteins) worldwide. Not long ago, 50 to 60% of a fish was used. Today yields are nearing 90%. This is big business as the world's population surges and demands for protein are increasing.
The life sciences sector, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, genetics, and medical devices, is a rapidly growing and exciting sector in Iceland. There is strong government support and incentives to promote these industries, an impressive academic network nearby, an advanced research and health care system. Iceland offers unrivaled opportunities for life sciences industries such as biotechnology.