Inspired by the success of strong global clusters in using innovation and knowledge to transform themselves into “super clusters,” or knowledge-driven world leaders in their fields, the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association in association with the Oslo Maritime Network in June 2008 launched an initiative to establish 20 maritime professorships to propel Norway to status as a Global Maritime Knowledge Hub. The idea was that Norway’s position as a world-leading maritime nation should be strengthened through research, innovation and education. At the moment the project is owned by the Norwegian Shipowners' Association and the Maritime Forum.

In order for Norway to upgrade as a knowledge hub in the global maritime industry, there is a need to attract the best international talents.  This requires developing high quality educational programs, specializing in shipping, at bachelor, master and doctor levels.  Such programs should have a global reach, and the candidates should work closely with maritime companies located in Norway and globally. Further on, global quality educational programs can only succeed if they have a firm research base and close relationships with the maritime industry.  Thus funds needs to be challenged into specialized professorships in order to create research centers working in the maritime areas.

The strategic goal of the MarHub is;

“MarHub's main objective is to contribute to making the Norwegian maritime sector a world leading knowledge hub, to ensure a continued competency development and to strengthen the competitiveness of Norwegian companies thereby attracting the leading global maritime players.”