The leading international innovation exhibition of the maritime industry in the world – SMM 2022 was held at the Hamburg Exhibition Center on 6-9 of September, “Driving the Maritime Transition”.
After a four-year pause hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic the event is going to bring together more than 40,000 visitors from over 100 countries, who will receive a complete overview of innovations in all sectors, the opportunity to find new business contacts and live encounters on the exhibition ground as well as in the high-profile trade conferences. Topics heading the agenda of the SMM includes the digital transformation, maritime safety and the maritime energy transition in the face of climate change and a shifting global political landscape. Through the expanded spectrum of SSM topics and additional presentation formats, the current developments, for example in the area of alternative propulsion technologies, are also outlooked, providing the perfect environment for business community.
Maritime Cluster of Ukraine was kindly invited to participate in the exhibition by Claus Ulrich Selbach, Business Unit Director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, who provided a stand free at the request of the MCU, enabling the presentation of the maritime industry of the country.
The event for the Ukrainian Maritime Cluster representatives has started with the welcome reception dedicated to the opening of the exhibition and anniversary celebration where the meeting with SEA Europe Chair Mr. René Berkvens (Former Chief Executive Officer, Damen Shipyards Group NV) and Rino Brugge (CEO at German Naval Yards Kiel GmbH).
The first day of SMM has begun with the Opening Ceremony, where honored guests from German and European government and leading industry key speakers shared their views during their speeches. The former Major of Hamburg and now Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who has addressed to the audience in the video message, spoke of wide opportunities in the maritime field but also predicted a spell of “unprecedented change”. He officially declared the opening of the world most important shipbuilding exhibition.
The distinguished speakers have expressed their vision of the maritime economy of the future pointing the attention on the main aspects of economy development, raising the targets and advising the ways for solutions. The main message was rearrangement of world maritime economy due to Russian invasion in Ukraine and reducing the dependency of the Russian fossil fuels, as well as potential conflict with Taiwan and its possible impact. All these questions are closely knitted to the blue economy transition – renewable energy, decarbonization and other topics that you can briefly read below. No wonder that these SMM should become a driver for the blue economy transition and sustainable economy of the future.
Claudia Müller, Coordinator for the Maritime Industry and Tourism at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, raised the aspects of vulnerability of global supply chains and urgent requirements to become independent of Russian energy in view of the war in Europe. She declared: “The climate crisis is an existential crisis for all humanity” and called for more stringent regulations from government to stimulate grater investment in technology.
Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization (IMO), pointed the progress of IMO in driving to decarbonize shipping and noted the commitment of seafarers as they strive to ship grain exports along the Black Sea corridor. He has visited Odessa several weeks ago for providing grain corridors and expressed support to Ukrainian people in their struggle.
Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), predicted a huge shortage of officers that compound the problem of having insufficient numbers of trained seafarers to deal with new and more complex fuel types: “And that is before we take into account that 40% of our workforce is Russian and Ukrainian seafarers. This officers shortage must be addressed, and we must upskill seafarers, so they can handle these new fuels.”
After the official ceremony, the UMC delegation joined a tour of the exhibition with high-ranking officials. The delegates visited booths of leading world companies, such as Siemens, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, ABS Group, DNV, and others. Also they visited GISBIR(Turkey Shipbuilders Association) booth – one of the oldest non-governmental organizations in Turkey and representative of the Turkish ship and yacht building, repair and maintenance industry, has almost one hundred members and represents the vast majority of the industry. Members of the delegation made speeches at the booth and gave an interview to GIZBIR TV, Olena Zhukova in her speech told about the situation in Ukraine, the possibilities of local companies, and noted that she is grateful to the Turkish authorities and the maritime society that, despite the war, close cooperation between Turkey and Ukraine continues to develop, including such grant projects as 4Bis. View the video via the link.
The delegation of the Ukrainian Maritime Cluster including Olena Zhukova (Executive Director of UMC and MDEM Director), Natalia Mamarina, Stanislav Seleznov, Oleksandr Levit (MDEM), Yurii Zhukov (C-Job Nikolayev), Tetiana Batrak (“Intellectual Maritime Technologies”), presented their booth and key players of the maritime industry of Ukraine – 30 maritime companies, leading educational institutions, which are members of the Cluster. The delegates demonstrated video footages of the companies, as well as about destruction of Mykolaiv, and actively communicated with other participants of the exhibition, who expressed sincere interest in the opportunities of the industry of our country, support for Ukraine in view of the war, and hope for future cooperation in the restoration of objects damaged by the military actions. “Be strong” and “Let’s fight for Ukraine” were heard everywhere in support of Ukraine.
The second day of the exhibition was no less productive. The UMC booth among others was visited by René Berkvens, Maarten Deul (Senior Consultant at ADSE Consulting and Engineering). A series of meetings with associations and clusters (NMT (Netherlands Maritime Technology), Maritimes Cluster Norddeutchland, Giz Bir) led to the establishment of contacts and agreements on cooperation. Among them were NMT (Netherlands Maritime Technology), Maritimes Cluster Norddeutchland, Giz Bir). Also, the long-awaited meeting with Christophe Tytgat (Secretary General/CEO at SEA Europe and at CESA) took place. Christophe Tytgat promised to consider the UMC participation in SEA Europe on preferential terms. Therefore, members of the UMC and its representatives of the maritime industry will be able to access the information field of the European Association and its opportunities. In the evening, the UMC delegates were invited to a solemn reception organized by the Netherlands Embassy in Germany, where established new contacts for further work.
The leading innovative maritime exhibition has come to an end. On the agenda of the participants is the importance of awareness and decisive steps regarding the “green transition” strategy, the war in Ukraine and the threat of hostilities in other parts of the world, as well as overcoming the consequences of the pandemic. The Ukrainian Maritime Cluster is grateful to the organizers and participants of the exhibition for the opportunity to join the event and establish important business contacts for further productive work.