- Strengthen the maritime business sector and increase its capacity for innovation within the North Sea Region (as well as in the Baltic Sea Region)
- Contribute significantly to enhance the innovation capacities of the beneficiaries from SME and maritime industry with the development of the NMU qualification offerings. This will ultimately lead to more effective, and a greater absolute level of, investment in product and process innovation by the trained maritime business actors in the North Sea Region.
- Exploit the likely future growth potential in the fields of short sea shipping (SSS), port operations and global maritime transport and related industries (e.g. logistics services)
- Strengthen the competitiveness of the industry and services sector and to step up efforts in the areas of industrial policy and the service market
- Contribute to sustainable development of the growing maritime transport business sector especially in terms of environmental protection
- Establish a European Area of Research and innovation for the maritime business sector and reaching beyond the project period
- Strengthen the competitiveness of the European education industry in the maritime business sector in comparison to global competitors and removing obstacles for labour, academic and student mobility.
Maritime industries are promoters of growth and help to improve quality of life within coastal regions. It is important to recognise the wider economic importance of maritime industries and services for the European economy and citizens as a whole (Maritime Policy Green Paper 2006).
With markets becoming increasingly global, tariff barriers disappearing and more information based economies, the maritime industry and its related sectors need to emphasize innovation, competency and collaboration. The potential to learn, collaborate and innovate faster than one's competitors becomes the sustainable source of competitive advantage in the emergent knowledge-based society.
However, the maritime sector in the North Sea and Baltic Sea Regions is facing a lack of well trained maritime business managers. Adequate qualification offerings must reflect the underlying demand for education and qualifications which enhance the innovation capacity of the maritime industries, one of the most globalised of industries.
Expertise in specific aspects of the maritime sector already exists at several centres of excellence housed within universities in the North Sea Region. This broad range of knowledge and expertise needs to be harnessed, connected and gathered within a common and lasting network of universities.
The Northern Maritime University (NMU) met these challenges by building up a strong transnational network of universities in the North Sea Region, which integrated relevant stakeholders from the maritime business sector.