Samherji founders launch new venture in northern Iceland

landscape

The founders of the Icelandic fishing and aquaculture company Samherji have set up a new business, Drift EA, to invest in innovation and create jobs in the Eyjafjörður region of the country.

At 40 miles deep Eyjafjörður is one of Iceland’s great fjords, with the northern regional capital Akureyri at the southern end.

Samherji CEO Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson (pictured), and Kristján Vilhelmsson, managing director of shipping operations, have established Drift EA for the purposes of fostering entrepreneurship and innovation within the Eyjafjördur area.

The company will offer facilities and support to entrepreneurs and businesses to develop their ideas locally and internationally.

This year signifies the 40th anniversary of the acquisition of Samherji hf. and the transformation of the vessel Gudsteinn GK into the freezer trawler Aklureyrin EA.

Since then, Samherji has based most of its operations at Eyjafjördur, in the north of Iceland.

The founders said Drift EA was founded to commemorate this milestone and as a gesture of appreciation to the residents and businesses within Samherji’s operational area. The establishment of Drift EA aims not only to give back to the community but also to cultivate new enterprises and industries in the Eyjafjördur region.

Drift EA’s activities will focus on projects in the fields of food production, health and medical products, biotechnology, software solutions for the seafood industry and green  solutions. In the lead-up, consultations were held with domestic and international partners across various innovation sectors.

Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson stressed that Drift EA’s primary focus will be on projects aimed at advancing value creation and cultivating future business growth within the area. He said: “We have always based Samherji’s headquarters in Akureyri, operated the company’s vessels from here and built well-equipped processing houses in Akureyri and Dalvík.

“Now we want to create fertile ground for innovation in this historic building at Rádhústorg in Akureyri and thus further support the development of the economy in our local community.”

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