The European Commission sees European Ship building, repair, modification and maintenance as 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.
More information and information on how to apply can be found here.