European maritime industry charts course to stay as world leader

A technology platform of industry, national authorities,
regulatory bodies, research centres and universities on the
maritime industry sector has been launched to maintain
Europe’s leading position in the industry. 

Europe is the world leader in the design, manufacture and
production of specialist, high technology vessels but is facing
increasing competition from Asia. Stakeholders recognise that in
order to remain the world leader in the sector, the shipping
industries need to innovate. So stakeholders have decided to
come together to identify the future research needs of
the sector.

“The challenge is now to build on the positive momentum
generated by recent market trends (European yards’ order books
stand at their highest level in a decade) and strong fundamentals
to consolidate gains and seize future opportunities,” said
Commissioner Günter Verheugen at the launch event in Bremen on 25
January 2005.

The ‘Waterbone’ is the latest in a series of Technology
Platforms created in the framework of the Sixth Framework Programme
for Research and Technological Development (FP6). European
research in the maritime sector addresses issues such as preventing
maritime oil spills and improving the evacuation of passengers in
the event of accidents, as well as basic research into

The maritime sector is a strategic European industry. In terms
of turnover, the EU is the world’s most important shipbuilding
region. Nearly 90 per cent of the EU’s external trade and some
40 per cent of its internal trade is transported by sea. The
sector employs approximately two million people. 

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