EU Atlantic Strategy to drive innovation, jobs and growth

LJMU to play key role in EU Atlantic Strategy

EU Atlantic strategy

Liverpool City Region has one of the largest clusters of maritime businesses outside London, and over 80% of these are SMEs. In order to support innovation, jobs and growth for the region in this sector, LJMU has teamed up with Mersey Maritime and Vestfold University College in Norway to bring together some of these maritime clusters from the Atlantic region. 

Representatives of eight of these organisations from the UK and across Europe recently met at LJMU’s Open Labs to begin work on this new project led by the LJMU Faculty of Technology and Environment and Mersey Maritime.

The EU Atlantic Strategy is intended to stimulate jobs and growth in the regions of the five countries bordering the Atlantic (UK, Ireland, France, Portugal and Spain) and covers three themes: investment in innovation in SMEs, research, and skills. The aim is to bring together clusters of maritime businesses and universities from the EU regions. 

Mr Ramon Van-Barneveld, responsible for the coordination of the strategy in the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, commented on the event:

“The Atlantic Strategy was created to unlock sustainable jobs and growth in the Atlantic area. Cooperation on research and technology transfer between EU countries will be key in using the Atlantic Ocean in new and exciting ways: from 'blue energy' to biotech. But we need business, higher education and research to work more closely together to provide the knowledge base and skillsets to unlock this potential. By pooling their resources, the different maritime cluster organisations could play a prominent role here.”  

The meeting put together the project framework and a specification of the work packages based on the strengths of each of the partners. 

Ian Jenkinson, Director of the School of Engineering, Technology and Maritime at LJMU commented: 

"Each of our regions has strengths in certain industries and specialist expertise. By collaborating we help each other develop areas where we lack critical mass and knowledge to support growth.” 

The delegates later joined Mersey Maritime and LJMU at the Mersey Maritime Industry Awards which brought together business leaders to celebrate the achievements of the region’s maritime and engineering businesses. 

Chris Shirling-Rooke, Acting Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime said: 

“Mersey Maritime represents a cluster of 1,700 businesses on Merseyside, providing support to help facilitate business growth. We have worked with hundreds of SMEs over the years and are delighted to have kick-started closer collaboration with our European cluster partners to drive further growth and job creation across the sector."

LJMU has a long and distinguished history of providing maritime training, education and research. The University's Maritime Academy brings together world-class research, undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and the professional training and advanced simulation facilities. The Academy's Lairdside Maritime Centre comprises a ship-handling simulator that is amongst the most advanced in Europe and currently the only one in the UK with a full 360 field-of-view visual system. Recent developments also include signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Wuhan University of Technology in China to develop research and teaching collaboration.


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