“Ambassadors of Mykolaiv city”- project results

The top 10 maritime enterprises of Mykolaiv were presented on November 7-10 at the world maritime exhibition #Europort in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, as part of the project “Ambassadors of Mykolaiv сity” supported by EU4Business. To enhance their effectiveness, they received organizational and advisory support in advance from leading experts in the maritime industry. 

As part of the #EU4Business program, funded by the European Union and the government of Germany, the Ukrainian Maritime Cluster implemented the project “Ambassadors of Mykolaiv сity.” The main objective of this project was to support and promote Mykolaiv-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) representing the maritime industry. This was achieved through the attraction of new opportunities, funding, enhancement of trade/export skills, support for their development, and the improvement of the city’s reputation as a significant maritime center in Ukraine. To accomplish this task, theUkrainian Maritime Cluster, in collaboration with the EU4Business team and the Mykolaiv City Council, selected 10 enterprises named “Ambassadors of Mykolaiv сity”. These enterprises include PE «Intellectual Maritime Technologies», «Black Sea Yachts Shipyard» LLC, «Black Sea Shipyard Company» LLC, «C-Job Nikolayev» LLC, Project Design Bureau «ProLINE», «AMICO Digital» LLC, «Company Gulfstream» LLC, PE «Marine Design Service», «ARTEL MARINE» LLC, and «Ocean Shipyard» LLC.  

The Ambassadors participated in a series of specialized webinars aimed at developing trade/export skills led by Maria Saifudinova, a leading expert with 17 years of experience in marketing, founder of the consulting agency MAD Heads Association, and a certified consultant at the EBRD. The workshop topics included “Exhibition Step by Step” and “Creative Ideas to Attract Attention to Your Company at an Exhibition.” Some topics sparked lively discussions, in particular the importance of a unified identity and the visual component of the Ukrainian stand presented to the participants. Delegates, together with the expert, also discussed the importance of emphasizing different aspects in preparation for various types of exhibitions, taking into account the profile of the events. Europort, being a world maritime exhibition, showcases leading technologies and developments in the maritime industry, significantly impacting the target audience and potential results of participation. In summary, the pain points of the participants were identified, and active preparations for the exhibition were continued. As a result of the discussions, a stylized chevron with the slogan “Ahead with Ukraine!” was established as the primary element of the participants’ sharing identity and expression of support for Ukraine. 

As part of the EU4Business-supported project, participants also received individual consultations from leading industry experts on export strategy, marketing, trade/export skills, and team development. Group consultations were also conducted, with one of them specifically aimed at informing participants about the opportunities presented at the Europort world maritime exhibition in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The speaker for this event was Akash Raktoe, Customer Relations Manager at #Europort (Rotterdam Ahoy), and a member of the Europort team since 2019. He has extensive experience in the fields of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial machinery, event organization, information technology, and expertise in engineering, accounting management, and maritime shipping. Understanding the specifics of the maritime industry, Mr. Akash discussed the key elements and tools of the exhibition, including marimatch, online and offline meetings, major platforms, provided information about the organizers and participants of the exhibition, and offered practical advice for successful company presentations.

For the second group consultation, Eden Mamut, an internationally recognized expert and Secretary General of the Black Sea Universities Network, Professor of Engineering Thermodynamics and Advanced Energy Systems and Director of the Institute for Nanotechnologies and Alternative Energy Sources at “Ovidius” University of Constanta, Romania, was invited. In his presentation, Mr. Eden emphasized the importance of thorough preparation for participation in exhibitions. Specifically, conducting a competitor analysis, being prepared to present products to exhibition guests who could potentially become clients. Key elements of preparation included branding, creating an appropriate image, building and expanding business connections, and organizing B2B meetings.

During the consultation, it was determined that the successful implementation of the Ukrainian pavilion requires responsibility, particularly an understanding of the country’s development strategy and national priorities. Participants also gain support from government structures, and promotion within the framework of the national pavilion provides image bonuses for companies.

In conclusion, the speaker noted that participation in business exhibitions can offer a wide range of advantages, including openness, communication, market research, attracting potential clients, as well as opportunities for branding and marketing. According to the expert, participation in Europort is a valuable and strategic investment for participating companies.

After receiving both consultation and organizational support within the EU4Business framework, the Ambassadors of the City of Mykolaiv had the opportunity to showcase their companies at the Europort maritime exhibition from November 7th to 10th, 2023. The event took place in the port city of Rotterdam, Netherlands, which is an international maritime hub for innovative technologies and comprehensive shipbuilding. With an average attendance of 25,000 professional visitors and 1,000 exhibiting companies, Europort ranks among the world’s largest platforms for B2B meetings and knowledge exchange.

This year, the Ukrainian stand featured shipbuilders and ship repairers, service providers, manufacturers of maritime equipment, engineering bureaus, project organizations, innovative companies, and educational institutions specializing in maritime affairs. In total, Ukraine, through its membership in the PU “Ukrainian Maritime Cluster” presented 14 sector-specific enterprises and 35 companies in the maritime industry.

On the first day of the exhibition, the Ukrainian Pavilion was officially opened, gathering honorary guests and media representatives, including the 1st Honorary Consul of Ukraine to The Netherlands Karel Burger Dirven, the First Secretary (Economic Cooperation) of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Netherlands, Mr. Volodymyr Buchok, and the Secretary General of SeaEurope, Mr. Christophe Tytgat and Damen Offshore & Specialized Vessels Engineering Manager Frank van der Velden.

At the exhibition, the Ambassadors showcased their companies, sought opportunities for partnerships, clients, and investors for their projects, and also familiarized themselves with the latest trends in the shipbuilding industry.

“C-Job Nikolayev” LLC, represented by the company’s founder Yuriy Zhukov, demonstrated technical developments of a unique dredger.

PDB “ProLine,” represented by Chief Designer, Sergiy Miroshnyk, presented projects of modern CatLine catamarans designed for passenger vessels, tourism, cruises, and charters.

PE “Intellectual Maritime Technologies”, represented by Yuri and Roman Batrak, showcased software for calculating shaft alignment, axial, vortex, and torsional vibrations.

Information about the ambassador companies was also featured in the informational catalog. This is aimed at foreign institutions that will be engaged in negotiations with companies from Mykolaiv during B2B meetings.

An electronic version of the catalog: https://maritimeukraine.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Europort-2023-brochure.x60206.pdf
An important achievement of participation in the Europort exhibition was the results of B2B meetings. They contributed to establishing connections between Ukrainian manufacturers and potential European clients.

As part of the Europort 2023 global maritime exhibition, representatives of the Ambassadors had the opportunity to visit the company of the global shipbuilding giant Damen Shipyards Group – Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam. Sales Manager Damen Shiprepair & Conversion, Oscar van Wees, made a short presentation about Shiprepair & Conversion Holding and conducted a tour of the shipyard. During the meeting, delegation members had the chance to converse with top managers of the company, familiarize themselves with the production base, and learn about the working conditions of the staff. The tour of the facility impressed with its scale and ship repair capabilities. Words of courage and support and Damen family values, as well as the example of the company’s successful work with its 300-year history of ship repair, were highlighted during the visit.

This trade mission to Rotterdam has become possible due to the support of the international cooperation program “EU4Business: Recovery, Competitiveness, and Internationalization of SMEs”. This program is jointly funded by the European Union and the German government, and it is implemented by the German federal company Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The program aims to support the economic stability, recovery, and growth of Ukraine, create better conditions for the development of Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and promote innovation and export.  

EU4Business is an initiative of the European Union that assists small and medium-sized enterprises in Eastern Partnership countries. More details can be found at www.eu4business.org.ua 

The strategic executor of the program is the German federal company GIZ Ukraine. Implementation partner – Ukrainian Maritime Cluster.  

Its content is the sole responsibility of the Ukrainian Maritime Cluster and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union, the German government, GIZ.  

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