A conference “Ukraine’s integration toward European Maritime community” was held in Mykolaiv with the support of the EU4BUSINESS program, which unite organizations and institutions working in the maritime sector, including shipbuilding and ship repair, shipping, ports, logistics, marine technology, related industries, as well as experts, politicians and stakeholders from different regions to discuss the challenges and opportunities of integration into the European Maritime Community.
The event was held in a hybrid format, attended by representatives of the maritime industry of Ukraine and the European Union.
At this year’s event, it was possible to discuss tools for the recovery of Ukraine and the recovery of the maritime industry, the possibilities of integrating Ukraine and Ukrainian maritime business into the European community, meeting with colleagues from maritime clusters in Europe, leading European international maritime associations.
The event was opened by Artem Vashchylenko, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Public Union “Ukrainian Maritime Cluster”, he congratulated the participants and guests of the event and noted that the conference is dedicated to the celebration of the European Maritime Day and takes place within the framework of the International Cooperation Program “EU4Business: recovery, competitiveness and internationalization of SMEs” which is jointly financed by the European Union and the German government and implemented by a German federal company Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Frédéric Moncany de Saint-Aignan – ENMC Vice-Chairman, Chairman of the French Maritime Cluster congratulating the participants of the event, he expressed hope for the prospects of recovery and further development of Ukraine. Considering the importance of borrowing international experience for the development of cluster organizations, Mr. Frederick informed about the main tasks and purpose of the European Network of Maritime Clusters. In particular, the organization European Network of Maritime Clusters was created in 2005 as a platform for the exchange of information and the creation of maritime cluster organizations of European member states. Since its inception, the main principle of the ENMC has been to create an effective framework for maritime sectoral cooperation, focused on expressing a clear maritime interest to European policy-makers on a European maritime level playing field; the only European maritime cluster. Therefore, the main goal of ENMC is to become a European maritime cluster as a direct partner of the European Commission in all maritime matters.
In turn, Artem Vashchylenko, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of PU “UMC” informed about the projects implemented by the Cluster, namely:
The project of Ukraine’s integration into the European Maritime Community is an advocacy campaign of the Ukrainian maritime industry regarding integration into the European Maritime Community by strengthening relations with key industry associations and promoting the Ukrainian maritime industry on the European market. The duration of the project is April-November 2023. The main activities include: the production of a promotional video about the maritime sector, informational materials, short promos of UMC members, a stand at Europort 2023 and the online conference “Ukraine’s integration toward European Maritime community”
“We invite and once again record the fact that today these opportunities are open to enterprises in the maritime industry. This program is already running, so we invite business representatives to join and prepare for representation at the Stand, which will be presented at the Europort 2023 exhibition (Rotterdam, the Netherlands). This is actually an opportunity to record and organize practical contacts with international partners. This is how the tools of international cooperation work,” Artem Vashchylenko emphasized.
Olena Zhukova – Executive director of Ukrainian Maritime Cluster, noted that over three years of activity, the organization attracted 35 enterprises and companies of the maritime industry as members, 6 memorandums of cooperation with international associations were concluded, and a large number of strategic unifying events with influential industry stakeholders were held. Also, PU “UMC” implemented a number of international projects with partner organizations, among them the project “4BIZ – development of the blue economy in the Black Sea region”.
-“The aim of this project is to support the cooperation of companies in the field of maritime transport, shipbuilders, designers, suppliers of equipment and services, as well as in the field of fishing and aquaculture of coastal and marine tourism,” Olena Zhukova said.
During the direct inclusion, Professor Dr. Eden Mamut, Secretary General of the Black Sea Universities Network, was in Brest, France, where he presented the 4BIZ project at an exhibition dedicated to the European Maritime Day. However, he was able to free up time and join the event organized by the NGO “Maritime Cluster of Ukraine”. He informed about the most important aspects that were determined during the event in Brest, namely:
“I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the active development of various business models that try to encourage the field of aquaculture, maritime transport, as well as aspects related to education and conscious construction is typical for all of Europe. In this context, in my opinion, the sustainable development of the blue economy is important for the Black Sea region,” he said.
At the invitation of Prof. Dr. Eden Mamuta, Javier Fernandez, representative of the Assistance Mechanism for the Implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning, took the floor, who noted that:
“EU sea basin strategies are aimed at supporting all stakeholders, in all countries, including Black Sea countries, for the implementation of projects, startups, new ideas and practices. All the changes taking place, decisions aimed at the implementation of blue growth, including in Ukraine, in particular thanks to European grant programs. That is why our team helps to establish the process of working with the implementation of projects”
Tadeusz Kopowski, Board Adviser Polish Maritime Technology Forum spoke about the activities of the organization and the possibilities of international cooperation.
“Ukraine has powerful engineering and shipbuilding companies, which indicates great potential and a good basis for further international cooperation. We sent the UMC a proposal to sign a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation and to create a joint expert group in the development of the Shipbuilding Development Plan 2024-34,” he said.
Sotiris A. Bouzeas, CEO Greek Challenge and Founder of TIASI told about the formation Tanais Innovation and Aerospace Supercluster Initiative (TIASI) under the management of the Canadian company GC. TIASI brings together aerospace and other high-tech industry stakeholders and provides access to EU funds and other sources for innovation.
TIASI has cluster representatives in Ukraine and a meaningful understanding of the sectoral structure of the industry, which plays an important role in the strategic planning of Ukraine’s post-war recovery in cooperation with stakeholders and the Government of Greece.
“Our cluster provides the opportunity to create lasting connections between stakeholders from Canada and Europe. Opportunities for TIASI members are at sea, in the air and on land. After all, the sea is ships, submarines, oil and gas exploration; air – aerospace industry, spacecraft, energy; earth – spaceports, ports, airports, space academy and smart cities,” said Sotiris A. Bouzeas
Oleksandr Yurchak, general director of the Association of Industrial Automation of Ukraine, informed about the work of the Ukrainian Cluster Alliance and voiced proposals to the PU “UMC” regarding cooperation, namely:
– Involvement of members of the PU “UMC” in the work of the UKA resource centers (participation in forums, conferences, webinars, etc.).
– Participation in the intercluster cooperation projects of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences.
– Participation in cross-border cooperation projects.
Olena Zhukova thanked the guests and participants of the conference for their participation and noted that:
“Despite the circumstances, the Maritime Cluster of Ukraine continues the consolidation of key players of the maritime economy and their integration into the European Community. We are developing plans for the reconstruction of the Maritime Industry of Ukraine and launching new international projects. Our movement on this path is unstoppable!”.
The event is organized by the PU Ukrainian Maritime Cluster within the grant call of proposals for the systemic support of small and medium-sized entrepreneurship, commissioned by the international cooperation programme “EU4Business: SME Recovery, Competitiveness and Internationalisation”, which is co-financed by the European Union and the German Government. The grant call of proposals is implemented by the Business Development Fund, the strategic implementer is the German federal company “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH”. The programme aims to support Ukraine’s economic resilience, recovery and growth, create better conditions for the development of Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as support innovation and exports. Read more: www.eu4business.org.ua
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, the BDF.