There is a need for European SMEs to engage with each other and to exploit innovations through the development of collaborations.
EUROVIP aims to co-ordinate European maritime SMEs, associations, larger companies and research institutions to promote the application of research results and innovative technologies in SMEs, by service, technology and information transfer in terms of operational and technical collaboration.
It will provide a viable means for the exploitation of outputs from past, present and future projects. Collaboration through the exchange of industrial and research innovations is a key factor in achieving the competitive benefits that globalisation can bring to maritime organisations. However, achieving successful awareness and effective collaboration remains a significant obstacle.
There is a clear need for European SMEs to fully engage with each other and to adopt a more advanced approach with regard to the exploitation of innovations through the development of collaborations on a grander geographical scale.
A concerted co-ordinated activity is needed to exploit innovations, making them widely available and supporting their use throughout Europe. Conventionally this would be achieved through knowledge exchange workshops to facilitate networking amongst interested organisations. EUROVIP takes a novel state-of-the-art approach to Virtual Integrated Partnering (VIP) and collaboration for the exchange of advances and innovations, coupled with workshops, demonstration.
The project will identify technologies with the highest potential impact and build partnerships for the exploitation of such. Best collaborative practice will be disseminated to facilitate SMEs in finding the right partnership, right innovations at the right time, and to configure and enable such partnership. Benchmark studies will be carried out to show best practice and the potential of innovation transfer to the wider maritime SME community and enhanced dynamic collaborative partnerships will be established.
Tools for maritime cooperation
An EU project aimed to improve the state of Europe's maritime sector via improved cooperation and application of research. Its suggested methods: a web-based innovation and partnership-building portal, plus online design and engineering tools.
European maritime small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) could collectively benefit and compete internationally, providing they collaborate and share the outcomes of research. Yet, at present, the industry is insufficiently aware of such benefits, to its detriment, and adequate collaboration has not been achieved.
The EU-funded http://euro-vip.eu/ (EUROVIP) project aimed to coordinate European maritime SMEs and related organisations, and to promote application of research results. The purpose was to promote operational and technical collaboration. The 21-member consortium ran between June 2011 and May 2014.
Project partners devised two sustainable means of achieving its objectives. First was the European Maritime Collaboration Portal (EMCP), a website enabling industry members to collaborate. The EMCP offers a searchable database listing innovative services and technologies, their providers and opportunities for collaboration such as tender calls. Users may build partnerships according to their needs and resources.
The project's second solution was the Technical Collaboration Platform (TCP). This provided an integrating and coordinating environment, supporting design and engineering software tools such as computer-aided design and computational fluid dynamic. The core functionality was the web-based ticket system, enabling automated online computation. Such mechanism is cheaper and more efficient than conventional solutions.
EUROVIP prepared six case studies showing how EMCP and TCP benefit the maritime industry. Two operational-level examples illustrated effective use of the EMCP for finding tender calls and potential collaborators. Further examples illustrated TCP use for novel online computation services and for collaborative design work.
Dissemination activities included a project roadshow, and a series of events held across Europe. Such events expanded the participating membership almost 10-fold, and the pool of EMCP users increased from 30 to over 200. The project was able to promote three business success stories.
The team prepared system documentation, including best practice guidelines, and other user information such as instructional videos and presentations.
EUROVIP facilitated collaboration among maritime industry members by offering two sets of online tools. Such opportunities help the European industry remain competitive.