The EU is investing heavily in mechanisms, particularly in research and training, to provide European marine sector industries with sufficient human and technological resources so that they can respond to the strong competition by Far-East marine industries and meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Increasing the industry's ability to be flexible and efficient and to develop innovative marine products (in the context of a global market) was an EU transport policy priority and hence received increasing investment support from the European Commission. CAREMAR aimed to contribute by addressing the delivery of innovative scientific research and Research Based Education (RBE).
The CAREMAR project focused on the identification and development of mechanisms to link the expertise within European universities with the research, education and technological requirements from companies working in the area of marine technology and related sciences. CAREMAR addressed the delivery of innovative scientific research and Research Based Education (RBE) in the context of a changing global market where European growth and competitiveness depends upon industry's ability to be flexible and efficient and to develop innovative marine products. CAREMAR saught to make an effective contribution to sustainable marine surface transport and marine tasks for the benefit of European society.
No attempt was made thus far to mobilise the greater part of this university expertise in one coordinated programme. This was demanded by European industry to seek solutions for sustainable transport and competitive businesses through mobilising the skills and resources of the entire European marine technology academic community in areas prioritised by the European maritime industries themselves.
More specifically, the objectives of the project were:
- to undertake a thorough examination of current Research and Technical Development (RTD) and RBE practices of European universities and to propose improvements to the underlying processes in consultation with industry, especially where this brings together university consortia in joint programmes or course development to satisfy industry needs;
- to provide a platform for the supply of RTD that derives from and is initiated or coordinated by the university sector, which meets industry needs through research, provision of manpower and knowledge transfer;
- to identify and improve communication routes between universities, research organisations and industry for improved RTD project development and undertaking;
- to provide a focused approach using innovative tools for the supply of RTD, especially in the identification and management of expertise and facilities;
- to demonstrate through practical means how this can be achieved and to incorporate RTD results in the educational programmes;
- to disseminate the results effectively and facilitate the acceptance by European society;
- to coordinate these efforts with those of proposed integrated projects (IPs), Networks of Excellence (NoE) and other Co-ordinated Actions (CAs) for the effective distribution of best practice;
- to demonstrate the posi
In order to achieve the project's objectives, the methodological approach undertaken embraced a variety of tasks that were expected to fulfil the identified objectives. A detailed work plan with clear deliverables and milestones throughout the project's execution, integrating a series of tasks was therefore developed. The work plan involved four work packages.
- Work performed by WP0 focused primarily on the overall coordination and management of CAREMAR Project, as well as the development and presentation of the project's exploitation and dissemination strategy and the organisation of the annual CAREMAR Workshops.
- WP1 faced difficulties in gathering sufficient replies; proactive response from the consortium was initiated in order to overcome these difficulties. As a result WEGEMT provided incentives to Universities and approached various organisations and shipbuilding industries in the marine sector in order to gather a sufficient number of questionnaire responses. In addition, WEGEMT proceeded in subcontracting University College of London (UCL) in order to gather failing information regarding the warship and submarine design sector both for Europe and the US and to assist in proving further information regarding the subdivided subjects for WP1. The objectives set for WP1 and for the CAREMAR project were reached and the end results from WP1 activities were the compilation of suggestions for further improvement and innovation in the educational system to strengthen European unity in education on marine technology in accordance to the Bologna Declaration; the identification of bottlenecks in the RTD process and key research areas and the presentation of suggestions for future RBE systems.
- The work performed in WP2 focused on the development and delivery of a set of databases that contain the outputs from WP 1 and also provide a comprehensive information source of university based expertise and facilities, as well as the development and delivery of a user focused portal and online subject related community based on the outputs of WP1 and 2. Therefore WP2 tasks and subtasks involved the development and delivery of databases, user manuals, training of consortium members and fully operation of the CAREMAR portal. The end result of WP2 activities is a fully functional CAREMAR portal. As a result of the impact of WP2 activities is the running up of the database/portal by WEGEMT after the project's completion, since the portal could be a major European resource, w
As a result of the CAREMAR project, questionnaires were developed and analysed; workshops, proceedings, initiatives, focus groups and databases were generated in order to compile suggestions for improvements in educational systems, to strengthen European unity in education on marine technology and to disseminate the obtained knowledge. Workshops and reports were used as tools both in achieving the compilation and the dissemination of these suggestions.
The impact of these actions can contribute towards employment, education, training and working conditions as the project deals with the identification of methods for educational harmonisation at a system level (a clear requirement of the Bologna Agreement of the European Ministries of Education), improvements in access to training and the overall evaluation of on-going education and training as it is currently practised. The likelihood that the improvements in the key processes in the RTD/RBE supply chain can lead to an increase of the competitiveness of the marine technology and maritime industry and eventually to economic growth.
The use of tools created by CAREMAR can serve to enhance the speed and efficiency of the RTD process across the whole Thematic Priority 188.8.131.52 and together with the planned RTD analyses can ultimately lead to better quality RTD projects that can help to improve scientific and technological prospects. Through CAREMAR's dissemination methodologies and reported recommendations decisionmakers can be better informed about university capabilities and can also have reports with guidelines for future RTD and RBE strategies either through their active interaction with the CAREMAR system or as recipients of CAREMAR's dissemination and exploitation activities.