VISIONS-OLYMPICS aimed at increasing the European competitive advantage by tapping into the unspoiled/unbiased creative minds of the young generation, with respect to the next generation of products and procedures for vessels and floating structures.
The objectives of the VISION-OLYMPICS project were:
- Offering out-of-the-box concepts and ideas for the future of European maritime transport;
- Developing these ideas within an environment where purpose-driven innovation is cultivated and performed in a risk free environment;
- Building bridges and enhancing coordination between EU research networks and strengthening the partnerships between research Universities and the industry;
- Enhancing the skills of future employees in a highly competitive environment;
- Offering targeted dissemination to the industry.
The work flow was as follows: (i);announcement of contests, setting challenges and calls for ideas, (ii);submission of ideas by students, (iii); delivery of contest contributions, (iv);evaluation of contributions, selection of winners and (v);workshop and award ceremony.
The evaluation criteria were:
- Degree of innovation and novelty: emphasis on novelty, or at least an innovative application of existing knowledge;
- Fit to the Scenario: how does the delivered concept idea fit into the selected business scenario;
- Impact on product markets: how does the concept idea affect the existing product structure;
- Potential to improve the position of European industry: how does this concept idea support the improvement of competitive advantage of the European shipbuilding industry;
- Feasibility Consideration: how feasible is the realisation of the concept idea according to current and assumed future knowledge;
- Robustness for different scenarios: how well does the concept fit into the given market and society scenario and how successful will it be under deviating conditions;
- Quality of presentation of the submitted material (documentation).
VISIONS-OLYMPICS has been the link in the broader maritime community, introducing a degree of competitiveness mobilising the larger university and broader industrial stakeholders It has enabled stronger links between the industry and recent graduates from European universities, as universities possess the fundamental skills and transferability/flexibility that research associations and industry lack.
In terms of facts, in the VISIONS-OLYMPICS contest Year 2010 and Year 2011 more than 200 Students participated and more than 50 new concepts of project ideas were submitted. Two Books with the collection of the innovative ideas submitted for the contests have been published and disseminated. The two Awards have been sponsored by two major European Maritime Industries, namely IHC-Merwede and Meyer Werft.
- Supporting the development of transport specific innovations that could deliver step-by-step changes into efficiency and cleanness within the next 20 years and beyond.
- Stimulating the development of new breakthrough technologies and concepts for transport. New concepts and ideas were investigated for radically new solutions and paradigm changes in transport, in particular, to address impact on climate change and energy dependency.
A side effect of VISIONS-OLYMPICS CA has provided skilled future employees to European maritime companies.
Education in naval architecture (all over Europe) is at a highest quality level, nevertheless maritime companies claim that naval architects starting their professional life are not experienced in themes such as, self-organisation, project management, interdisciplinary, ability to work in a team etc. All the previous aspects have been addressed and successfully exploited by the young professionals during the contest loops of Visions-Olympics.
Student contest participants had the opportunity to demonstrate these skills, improving their resume. The performance of a concept idea from ideas definition to the completion of concept description (including technical and economic feasibility, social and technological impact) within a group, demonstrated that the participants were then able:
- to perform market oriented innovation,
- to work in a self organised group,
- to manage the time and the deliverables
- to manage multidisciplinary.
The project's main added value has been its ability to contribute to both the short-term and long-term needs of th
The added value for the European marine industry, universities and the European society was able to be identified, considering that European universities run on public funds, their impact on society's welfare is imperative and any mechanism enhancing their impact must be supported. The willingness of the European universities in marine technology and related sciences to see this coordination in place, was demonstrated in this SA by the engagement of WEGEMT; an association of 41 universities involved in marine technology who all sought to further improve links between each other and with their natural customers, namely the marine technology and maritime industry, herein represented by their European associations CESA and EMEC and to commonly address the needs of the European marine industry for the successful implementation of the Waterborne 2020 Strategy.
The VISIONS-OLYMPICS Contests were beneficial for the broader maritime industry (especially SMEs) to develop new product ideas from scratch.
The outcomes of the VISIONS-OLYMPICS CA are likely to have an important strategic benefit and scope for transfer to other academic/industry sectors.
Companies and Universities had the opportunity to collaborate and benefit from this. The participating organisations of this CA CESA, EMEC and WEGEMT have ensured constant dialogue between the industry, universities and society in times in which it is vital that the resources (particularly human resources) be available to help support the maritime industry.
As a Support Action, a main thrust of this project was to develop strategies and activities which would improve the dissemination of innovative thinking which has encouraged entrants in engaging into the maritime field and also through the active role of the industry via sponsorship of the Visions-Olympics yearly awards
The project offered an innovative approach to multi-disciplinary coordination, including key academic institutions, the industry and organisations responsible for the promotion of maritime excellence ensuring that the appropriate emphasis on the research-oriented activities of the project received the appropriate uplift. VISIONS-OLYMPICS enabled an important advance in interdisciplinary maritime promotion in this respect.
Innovating for the future: technology and behaviour.