The event was moderated by Prof Thomas Pawlik of Bremen University of Applied Sciences and Prof Jens Froese of Jacobs University Bremen, and was attended by more than 80 participants from industry and academic sectors. In additional to local participants, there were numerous attendees from various countries including Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Norway, and the UK, among others.
The project leader, Prof Kevin Cullinane of the Transport Research Institute (TRI) at Edinburgh Napier University, noted that the EU-Interreg funding of the project is ending in June 2012; however, rather than representing an end to activities, the NMU conference marks the start of the NMU network, fortified by the consortium’s commitment to continue working together to pursue the project’s mission. One of the speakers at event, Dr. Max Johns, Managing Director of the German Shipowners’ Association, complimented NMU, remarking that: “The work of the NMU network is highly appreciated by the industry. What is missing in this sector is an educational link from seafarers to land-based jobs. We – at least in the case of Germany – should change the current traditional education [method], which still applies the same way of education over the years, [into] continuous education in order to fit current industrial needs. We want to see this new concept of the NMU network, to be able to convince a lot of young people how attractive the maritime industry is.”
With respect to enhancing the attractiveness of careers in the maritime industry, Mr Giovanni Mendola, from the European Commission’s Maritime Safety Unit, talked about the recognition of advanced skills training for seafarers, and Dr Gordon Wilmsmeier of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Chile, in his talk responded that NMU is in a strategic position, being able to offer multidisciplinary knowledge which provides both technical and business skills for the maritime industry. NMU’s course modules are an example of how the network has capitalised on this strategic position. Modules have been developed on the back of strong collaboration with NMU stakeholders from the maritime industry, and will be available not only to bachelor and master students, but also to industry executives.