Efficient waterborne transport using the seas, rivers and oceans across and around Europe requires enhanced research, strengthened by improved collaboration amongst key stakeholders, in line with the EU's ERA-NET scheme. The EU-funded MARTEC II (ERA-NET maritime technologies II) project set out to create the necessary critical mass in national and regional EU maritime research programmes and policies. It gathered over 30 ministries and organisations responsible for funding research in maritime technologies across 25 European countries. The final joint call was the most successful of the four. Implemented in 2014, it attracted 14 countries and 22 proposals. Eight further transnational projects will likely be funded as a result. A brokerage event during the same year helped draw more applicants. A best practice model for sustainable cooperation among the funding organisations after project completion is currently under development. Cooperation was strengthened by identifying new strategic partners through other key EU projects such as WATERBORNETP and JPI OCEANS, as well as collaboration with the EU's ERA-NET+ scheme. Recommendations were delivered to manage the network across Europe, including intellectual property rights guidelines. A database was set up with more than 400 European and national maritime projects since 2008 in order to upgrade existing research. Project partners continue to discuss the mapping of maritime research and the publishing of a maritime database. A handbook for project handling has been developed and updated with each new call. In an effort to promote EU-wide cooperation, MARTEC II has successfully established Europe's only network for maritime technologies. In so doing, it is improving the way maritime technology research is implemented by effectively tackling fragmentation, duplication and gaps.
Maritime research, waterborne transport, maritime technologies