In recognition of the need to reinforce targeted R&D and innovation efforts, interests across the European maritime industry have joined forces in the Vessels for the Future initiative. Launched in late 2014, the Public Private Partnership (PPP) is overseen by the European Research Association and involves 50 companies, research institutes, academic organisations and interested associations.
Europort’s focus on complex specialised vessels is given support with a new European maritime industry initiative. The initiative aims to encourage synergies already existing within Europe’s maritime business cluster, stimulating integration among shipbuilders, equipment suppliers, research bodies and classification societies. The Public Private Partnership (PPP) is overseen by the European Research Association and involves 50 companies, research institutes, academic organisations and interested associations. Europe’s highly skilled workforce and its investment in R&D, position it as the leader in the development of high-tech, safe and efficient ships. The Vessels of the Future project has been conceived to ensure European-built ships remain at the industry’s cutting edge, in pursuit of new markets and new opportunities for business.
The initiative strikes a direct accord with the themes and principles underpinning Europort 2015, the exhibition for maritime technology, and coincides with the Europort-organised conference ‘Vessels of the Future’ which will run in conjunction with the exhibition. Europort Exhibition Manager, Raymond Siliakus commented that “Europort strongly believes that the solutions and tools needed to stay ahead in today’s challenging environment will come from innovation in technology. It will be the leaders in this area that drive the industry forward as a whole. Europort is focused on supporting maritime and offshore leadership by facilitating the development and distribution of ground-breaking technology.”
Secretary General of SEA Europe and Europort Advisory Board Member, Douwe Cunningham, said: “The recognition that Europe should be a world leader in maritime research and innovation of new technologies strikes a particular chord with the European technology manufacturing industry. The solutions for overcoming many of the environmental, safety and societal challenges stem from the European manufacturers’ innovative evolution of the smallest equipment to integrated systems and complex specialised vessels”.
Advanced technologies, continuous investment in research, development and innovation of products and production methods are a key driver to enhance the European maritime technology industries’ competitiveness. The PPP approach will support a range of demonstration projects, and is considered to be the most effective way of transferring research results to the market via industrial partners in terms of cost/benefit and performance. Dr. Pierre C. Sames (DNV GL), Chairman of the European Research Association, added: “With the establishment of ‘Vessels for the Future’ as a Research Association we are demonstrating that our goal is receiving widespread support from the wider maritime community. We look forward to working with the European Commission to conclude the exchanges and bring the initiative into action.”
Europort will take place at Ahoy Rotterdam on 3-6 November 2015 and is expected to attract visitor numbers in excess of 30, 000. The visitor profile includes leading technology pioneers, decision makers and professional representatives from shipping companies, yards and owners with over 84 countries represented. It is a must attend for anyone wanting to stay ahead in the international maritime market, with all sectors of the maritime chain present under one roof.