The major players in the waterborne transport sector will come together in Bremen today to start work towards a common strategic vision for the future research needs of this sector. The Waterborne Transport Technology Platform will involve industry, national authorities, regulatory bodies, research centres and universities and will seek to stimulate more effective public and private investment in research and development and improve the coherence of research activities at European, national, regional and local level. The Commission was represented at today’s launch by its Industry Commissioner Günter Verheugen.
The maritime sector is big business: 90% of the EU’s external trade and 40% of its internal trade is transported by sea. Europe is a world leader in the design, manufacture and production of specialist, complex high technology vessels such as cruise liners and liquefied natural gas tankers. However it faces increasing competitions from East Asia with regard to high volume ship production. In order for Europe’s shipping industry to survive, it must continue to innovate. This is the driving force behind today’s initiative. Better coordination of research across Europe will help to cement Europe’s position as an environmentally responsible, safe operator and manufacturer.
Patrick Vittet-Philippe | alfa
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