Publisert: 24.11.21

PhD Candidate - The Economics of Deep Sea Mining

Project description

The deep ocean floor contains vast deposits of minerals that are necessary in renewable energy technologies. These minerals are expected to be in high demand due to the de-carbonization of the global economy and the transition to a net-zero economy. But while the “blue minerals” may hold the key to a greener future, mining the deep seas raises many questions and dilemmas. Can the minerals be mined without causing massive and irreparable harm to the unique ecology of the deep oceans? Who will be allowed to exploit these minerals, and on what conditions? How can conflicts over rich deposits be avoided? What rules and incentives are needed to attract responsible investors that can pay for the development of the necessary technology? Is it worthwhile to destroy unique and largely unknown habitats in the deep seas in order to address the climate crisis?

The primary objective of the TripleDeep project is to investigate whether Deep Sea Mining can provide a new source of critically important minerals in a sustainable manner. To do so we must address significant knowledge gaps about the political, economic, technological and ecological dimensions of deep-sea mining, and particularly how they interact with each other. The TripleDeep project group consist of an inter-disciplinary team, bringing together historians, marine biologists, economists and engineers.

 The PhD position in the economics of Deep Sea Mining will analyze how to enable necessary investments in radically new technology and infrastructure for Deep Sea Mining, given the high levels of regulatory uncertainty, and the substantial risk of stranded assets inherent in selection of new technology paths. We will study the role of government policies in supporting the development of new technologies needed for DSM to be socially and ecologically acceptable.

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Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management

IØT has challenging and inspiring educational programmes and research projects in the cross-disciplinary field of technology management. Through its programmes of study, IØT educates candidates with a solid technological basis in methodology and theory on how to develop and manage technologically based organisations.


Participation in, and development of, research projects in close co-operation with Norwegian industry, the department is also developing models, tools and methods for how to manage Norwegian industry.

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