30 Aug 2017
A wide range of maritime industries are represented every 2 years at Europort
From 7 – 10 November, the eyes of the maritime world will be on Rotterdam as Europort 2017 takes place, and perhaps unsurprisingly, technological subjects including Big Data, the MRV System and alternative propulsion are set to dominate the agenda.
This event is well established as one of the world’s leading international maritime meeting places for those interested in innovative technology and complex shipbuilding. Europort 2017 will, as usual, have a strong focus on special purpose ships including offshore, dredging, construction, naval, and inland vessels, as well as workboats and super yachts. Europort 2017 is expected to attract around 30,000 professional visitors and 1,100 exhibiting companies.
MASTERCLASSES SHAPE INDUSTRY THINKING
The event will once again feature a series of masterclasses allowing leading maritime and offshore professionals and experts to share knowledge and experiences on the hot topics facing ship owners, operators and suppliers. For each masterclass, a plenary session with four invited speakers will be followed by opportunities to ask questions of a panel of experts and to network afterwards.
Raymond Siliakus, Exhibition Manager, Europort, said: “These popular masterclasses have become a ‘must-attend’ part of the event. In just three hours those attending can learn about the key research and development initiatives that are going on within the industry from experts chosen for their unique, specialist knowledge.”
IoT, BLOCKCHAIN AND BIG DATA
Two of this year’s masterclasses will focus on Big Data. The first of these, on Tuesday November 7th, will assess how the Internet of Things and Blockchain can improve supply chain efficiency. A second session, on Thursday November 9th, will look at how Big Data can minimise the total cost of ownership. Speakers confirmed so far include Alex Bausch, Blockchain Ecosystem Network and Gerben de Boer of Van Oord.
NEW ENVIRONMENTAL AGE
The New Environmental Age themed masterclass will take place on Wednesday 8th November and will focus on how companies can use energy management techniques to comply with the European Union’s European Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV) system, which applies from 2018. Also on the agenda are zero emission, zero energy consumption vessels, plus the energy efficient design and operation of cruise vessels and dedicated decision support tools that can more effectively manage energy consumption. Already confirmed is a programme including presentations by Teus den Beek, Wärtsilä; Nick Lurkin, Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners; Sebastian Sala, Carnival Maritime; and Giuseppe Stranieri, from CETENA.
A special conference on Alternative Ship Power & Propulsion Systems, organised by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA), will also be held on November 8th. This will examine the current use of alternative fuels in shipping and how to embrace the challenges of designing cleaner, lower carbon emission vessels.
Remaining competitive today in the maritime industry relies on having a skilled and motivated workforce, able to innovate and operate efficiently. Europort will provide a forum for a timely discussion on the importance of investing in human capital, with the opportunity to engage with academic institutions and training bodies on how to attract and retain the younger generation.
Many believe the maritime industry is facing a workforce crisis, with a lack of younger seafarers to fill the gaps left by the retirement of an ageing workforce, putting marine companies under renewed pressure. The U.K. Department for Transport (DFT) predicts a shortfall of around 3,500 deck and engineering officers by 2021 in the UK alone, while the BIMCO / ICS Manpower Report suggests there could be a worldwide global shortfall of 147,500 officers by 2025. This shortfall in human resources is evident not just in the deep-sea segment, but across the maritime industry, where specialists and technical staff with very specific areas of expertise are required, as shipping moves to embrace robot technology, automation and advanced data capture tools, among other advanced technologies.
The fourth masterclass, part of Europort 2017’s Human Factor theme, will take place on Friday November 10th, where speakers will offer a fresh perspective on how HR can be beneficial in future-proofing organisations and improve business results. Data-driven HR will be the topic addressed by Erik van Vulpen of Analytics in HR, with other speakers to be confirmed.
“Increasingly, the maritime sector will come to rely on having a highly skilled workforce that can innovate to counter tough market conditions,” says Mr Siliakus. “Visiting Europort will allow you to discover innovative ways of engaging with talented younger generation professionals as well as retaining highly-valued existing staff members.”
The Europort masterclasses are an initiative of Rotterdam Ahoy and Netherlands Maritime Technology (NMT), the Dutch association of shipyards, maritime supplies and service providers. Sanne de Vleeschhouwer, innovation manager at NMT says, “These masterclasses are an efficient and inspiring way to get the latest insights into the hot issues facing the industry and represent an excellent chance to share ideas and knowledge, and gain inspiration from a unique learning and networking opportunity.”
For full details of the Europort programme, and to register online, please visit www.europort.nl
By Jake Frith