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Improved Production and Maintenance Processes in Shipyards

All following aspects should be addressed:

  • The development of innovative technologies and systems to enhance the competitiveness of production and maintenance processes within European shipbuilders and ship yards. Where appropriate, technologies transfer from outside of the marine industry shipbuilding, ship maintenance and ship modification sectors, particularly those with potential to reduce CO2 and/or other polluting emissions.
  • Identification of the necessary related skills development needs and strategies to address these in order to maximise the value from innovative production technologies and practices.
  • Testing and physical demonstration of the developed technologies to at least TRL 5, including the benchmarking of existing practices, consideration of the environmental impacts and quantification of the additional value from the technology and/or system developed.
  • Development of business plans and roll out strategies.
  • IPR and or other measures to reduce leakage of the developed innovations outside of Europe.

Whilst not excluding very large shipyards, an emphasis on the competitive needs of smaller and medium size shipyards across Europe would be welcome in cases where the incremental benefits from Research and Innovation maybe higher.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately

European Ship building, repair, modification and maintenance has been founded upon a technology based competitive advantage which has enabled it to build, improve and maintain the world’s most advanced ships. However, competitors are also becoming more advanced and seeking to enter European high technology markets. Many ship types developed within Europe are now built elsewhere. Also European marine equipment, including environmental technologies are often retrofitted to ships within non-European shipyards. Europe is still a global leader for very high technology ships such as large passenger vessels, but this is a niche and competitors have a strategy to also enter these markets.

The market is particularly challenging for smaller shipyards across Europe who can be agile to develop and maintain niche products or to be integrated within smart supply chains yet do not have significant resources to undertake research and innovation.

Consequently, continuous innovation is needed for the sector to remain competitive and in this respect, lessons and technologies can be drawn for other sectors including automotive, aerospace and IT. For example taking advantage of the latest developments within digital production, advanced robotics and co-bots, machine vision, internet of things, flexible production systems, 3D printing, supply chain integration across multiple sites, skills development and deployment strategies.

With an emphasis on smaller and mediums sized European shipyards and ship builders, to increase competiveness and growth of the European sector, particularly within international markets. Reinforce and grow European employment and the necessary skills development for the successful uptake of innovative production processes and technologies. Improve environmental performance of shipyards and ship builders. Support a multiplication effect within Europe beyond the immediate participants. Maximise EU added value by appropriate means of minimising knowledge and technology leakage.