An ERA-NET on maritime technologies (MARTEC) began with 12 ministries and funding organisations from 9 European countries in 2006. There was little or no contact prior to its establishment. MARTEC quickly formed a strong network. Given the success of the first phase, 28 ministries and funding organisations from 24 countries are involved in MARTEC II now. Although we now have experience of working across national borders, the programme management and project handling are still quite different.
The main objective of the project is to deepen and broaden co-operation in the field of maritime research, where more flexible procedures need to be developed.
MARTEC II will move from a basic understanding of each others' procedures and priorities to real information exchange based on trust and actively looking to work with partners across national borders.
MARTEC II will:
- broaden the geographical scope through the inclusion of new countries;
- intensify cooperation by launching calls and joint programmes;
- strengthen the dissemination of waterborne research results throughout Europe.
- the structuring of maritime research will be better coordinated through a programme database and research mapping;
- there will be information exchange and stronger cooperation between MARTEC and WATERBORNETP, other ERA-NETs (e.g. TRANSPORT II) as well as other initiatives, such as the network SURSHIP, which is essential for future activities;
- the project will also establish future structures for a sustainable network.
Joining forces across Europe to bolster maritime research
In anticipation of more sustainable transport modes for the future, one EU initiative brought together ministries and funding organisations from across Europe to enhance the competitiveness of the maritime industry.
Efficient waterborne transport using the seas, rivers and oceans across and around Europe requires enhanced research, strengthened by improved collaboration amongst key stakeholders, in line with the EU's ERA-NET scheme.
The EU-funded http://www.martec-era.net/ (MARTEC II) (ERA-NET maritime technologies II) project set out to create the necessary critical mass in national and regional EU maritime research programmes and policies. It gathered over 30 ministries and organisations responsible for funding research in maritime technologies across 25 European countries.
The final joint call was the most successful of the four. Implemented in 2014, it attracted 14 countries and 22 proposals. Eight further transnational projects will likely be funded as a result. A brokerage event during the same year helped draw more applicants.
A best practice model for sustainable cooperation among the funding organisations after project completion is currently under development. Cooperation was strengthened by identifying new strategic partners through other key EU projects such as WATERBORNETP and JPI OCEANS, as well as collaboration with the EU's ERA-NET+ scheme.
Recommendations were delivered to manage the network across Europe, including intellectual property rights guidelines. A database was set up with more than 400 European and national maritime projects since 2008 in order to upgrade existing research.
Project partners continue to discuss the mapping of maritime research and the publishing of a maritime database. A handbook for project handling has been developed and updated with each new call.
In an effort to promote EU-wide cooperation, MARTEC II has successfully established Europe's only network for maritime technologies. In so doing, it is improving the way maritime technology research is implemented by effectively tackling fragmentation, duplication and gaps.