Europe has a strong maritime economy with a high global position. The strength of the European maritime industry is based on its entrepreneurship and ability to innovate. The European maritime companies can only maintain their position to produce innovative products if they can attract highly qualified RTD personnel. In order to remain at the cutting edge of knowledge and technology for green, competitive, safe and secure advanced maritime products and operations not only naval architects, offshore and marine engineers but also marine scientists, marine transport economists and financiers as well as other related science and engineering graduates have to be attracted to undertake research and development in the maritime sector.
PROMARC will raise awareness of job opportunities in the marine transport technology sector in Research and Innovative product development through:
- An investigation and analysis of current National and European Union schemes to promote maritime transport sector.
- Investigation and analysis of current and future sector skill shortage and demand
- Creation of promotional materials on the research and innovation career opportunities in the maritime transport sector to be published online and as brochures and pamphlets for distribution by all sector stakeholders
- Activities to promote of marine transport technology sector in schools including site visits, schools visits and interactive internet site.
- Activities to attract graduates to a career in research including academic competitions, thematic workshops and summer schools
It is recognised that there is a severe gender imbalance in the marine technology sector and special efforts will be targeted at female students to encourage them to follow research and innovation careers in the sector.
The ability to foresee future needs and to forestall problems is important. The maritime sector need to be perceived as offering reliable workplaces, as advanced maritime knowledge (in research, design, manufacturing and ship operation) is fundamental to our economy. The PROMARC Support Action project will focus on and develop appropriate communication and education strategies, within and outside the waterborne sector.
An exploitable resource is communication of its activities to various european public bodies, in order to promote maritime careers. Extensive communication and stimulation campaigns targeting young people and researchers of different ages will further impact on the creation and maintenance of jobs.
European Universities, in particular the ones engaged in marine technology and related sciences, are internationally accepted as leaders in education and research. This position is under threat because of declining student numbers and internal pressure to reduce costs associated with the provision of resources for research based education. European Universities involved in marine technology should therefore demonstrate:
- their attraction to students from all over the world, plus strong and varied postgraduate programmes;
- participate in large scale research programmes;
- strong participation amongst international scientific research, standardisation and regulatory bodies;
- efficient dissemination of results: e.g. by participating in and organising international conferences, writing technical papers for publication in international scientific journals, establishing one to one relationships with businesses.
In order to meet future challenges, European Maritime Industries must:
- Maintain and improve their position against world-wide competition by developing their knowledge and skills. Recognise the need to work with and support the university knowledge base to create knowledge transfer into industry;
- Lead the way in the responsible exploitation and management of Marine Resources;
- Combine competitiveness/profitability with safety and environment. This requires the development of multidisciplinary teams advocating the need to work more closely with technology providers such as Universities;
- Look at technology and innovation as key drivers supporting growth and competitiveness in a global market. This is true for the EU offshore industry due to the widely fluctuating price of oil. And also for the shipbuilding sector because Far Eastern Shipbuilders can provide services at lower prices (around 15-20% less). Opportunities for growth will therefore arise through technological advance either by creating new markets or offering chances for product improvement/differentiation;
- Maintain and further enhance their human resources base, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
An efficient and integrated mobility system: Promoting quality jobs and working conditions