LJMU is one of only six UK universities with a dedicated maritime focus, dating back to 1852 and the establishment of Liverpool’s first Nautical College. This recognised expertise is one of the reasons why LJMU was the only UK university to be invited to attend the official inauguration of the new £3.9 billion Panama Ship Canal in June 2016. This international visit has already helped to strengthen relationships between LJMU and two of Panama’s leading universities.
Representatives from the International Maritime University (UMIP) and the Technological University (UTP) of Panama travelled to Liverpool in October 2016 to sign Memoranda of Understanding with LJMU, focused on developing collaborative research and teaching partnership opportunities. During their visit to the University, the Panamanian representatives toured the Faculty of Engineering and Technology and the Maritime Knowledge Hub, which is run jointly by LJMU and Peel Ports.
The signings were part of a wider programme of activities designed to foster closer links between the Liverpool City Region and Panama. With many billions being invested in the region’s Superport, establishing connections with Panama are of significant economic importance, as Dr Eddie Blanco-Davis, from the Department of Maritime and Mechanical Engineering, explains: “Given the similarities between Liverpool’s plans and those in Panama, there is an opportunity to position Liverpool as a global freight and logistics hub for the UK.”
Initially, LJMU is hoping to establish collaborative programmes in Mechanical and Marine Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Logistics with UMIP and UTP, respectively. Discussions also focused around the delivery of collaborative programmes in: Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering with Management, Management Transport and Logistics, Maritime Business Management, Nautical Sciences, Port Management, International Trade and Logistics, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and Civil and Offshore Engineering.