Europort 2019 – Special Ships, Smart Solutions
The countdown has begun for one of Europe’s biggest maritime events: Europort 2019 opens its doors on Tuesday 5 November for an action-packed four days filled with company stands, conferences, master classes, networking, matchmaking events, awards ceremonies and much more. Europort Exhibition Manager Raymond Siliakus reveals why you can’t afford to miss this year’s event.
If you work in the maritime industry in Europe and further afield, there is one event you really can’t miss: the biannual, spectacular Europort. Every two years in the World Port City of Rotterdam, more than 1,100 exhibitors present their latest innovations in all aspects of shipbuilding, repair and conversion. The scope of Europort includes sea shipping, offshore specials, inland shipping, dredging, fishing vessels, workboats, naval vessels, cruises & ferries, workboats and mega yachts. “It is the specific focus on special-purpose ships that sets Europort apart from other events”, says Europort Exhibition Manager Raymond Siliakus. “Europort is much more than just a trade fair: there are conferences, seminars, matchmaking events. It is a continuous programme of maritime activities and it is a highly efficient event for both exhibitors and visitors, because they can meet all the major players in the industry in one place. We have added a lot of new items to the programme and our venue, Ahoy, will be transformed with new, purpose-built pavilions and a lot of amazing displays.”
Smart Technology, People and Business
The overarching theme of Europort 2019 is Special Ships, Smart Solutions. This includes an examination of how the ongoing evolution of smart technology is reshaping the future of shipping and shipbuilding, the vital importance of a highly skilled workforce and an exploration of the many facets involved in ensuring smart business. Within the overall theme, there are three selected subjects that form a central thread throughout the event programme:
The maritime industry is constantly evolving and striving for increased innovation. The development of revolutionary technologies will reshape the future of shipping and shipbuilding.
The industry’s success and competitiveness rely on a highly skilled workforce that is able to develop innovations and operate in a market of increased complexity and new business areas. In leading the discussion on human capital, it is crucial to reflect changing business needs, involve young talent, share new insights and invest in people’s expertise.
Shipping revolutions generally take time, but the impact of new legislation, disruptive innovations, new roles and new actors cannot be ignored. A profound analysis of value proposition, company resources and processes is required, with the key aim of making a profit.
Focus on Innovations
“One of the things Europort prides itself on is the number of opportunities for knowledge exchange”, says Mr Siliakus. “We want to offer innovative, high-quality solutions. For instance, there are four high-profile master classes which focus specifically on innovations in different segments of the maritime industry. Top professionals and experts in their fields will be sharing their knowledge and experiences, providing an efficient and inspiring way to learn about the latest insights into smart technology and business.”
During Europort 2019, visitors will also be able to attend a number of conferences and seminars, such as CEDA Dredging Days and the Maritime Industry 4.0 Conference hosted by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA). “We are also very happy that the European Tug Owners’ Association has, for the first time, decided to host their autumn conference as part of the Europort 2019-programme”, says Mr Siliakus.
This Conference will focus on one of Europort’s central questions: how can we smarten our business? The aim of the half-day conference is to investigate new business models that are most likely to be successful in the future, especially in view of current and future trends in the maritime sector. Other highlights include the 19th Mare Forum Ship Finance Congress and the BLN Inland Shipping Member Meeting. There will also be a special Symposium for the diving industry, organised by SWOD.
Europort shines a special spotlight on the future of the maritime industry by offering a special programme for students and young professionals. Under the hashtag YoungEuroport, it offers a structured programme of socialising, networking and continuous education through events such as Meet Your Peers, the CareerLab, the Job Route and the launch of Shipathon 2020. In March 2020, this unique hackathon will take place for the second time. This time, the focus will be on smartening sea-going vessels, and students and young professionals will be invited to come up with ideas to reinvent the maritime sector. “The future of the maritime industry is in the hands of these students and young professional”, says Mr Siliakus. “This is why we are offering them a whole selection of activities, such as student pitches and brainstorming sessions.
Rewarding Innovation and Excellence
New at this year’s edition are the SAFETY4SEA EUROPORT Awards, organised together with Greek publisher Safety4Sea. The awards aim to foster safe, smart, green and sustainable shipping. There are four categories, with five awards each: Smart4Sea Europort Awards, Green4Sea Europort Awards, Safety4Sea Europort Awards and Career4Sea Europort Awards. “It is always important to reward the good work companies and organisations are doing. The aim of the awards is to encourage companies and to stimulate further innovation”, says Mr Siliakus.
Earlier this year, maritime industry stakeholders were given an open invitation to propose nominations, which were then reviewed for eligibility. After the nominations were confirmed, an open vote was announced. The awards will be handed out during the four days of Europort 2019.
Cocktails and Skylines
After the exhibition closes on the evening of Wednesday 6 November, Europort is hosting the annual Cruise Party on board the SS Rotterdam. This steamship was once the flagship of the Holland America Line, but is now based in Rotterdam and used as a party venue. Mr Siliakus: “The cruise party is an excellent opportunity to network in a different setting, while enjoying good food and drinks and the spectacular Rotterdam skyline. It is just one of the many opportunities where exhibitors and visitor have a chance to interact and exchange knowledge and expertise. We can’t wait to open our doors and welcome everyone.”
Will we see you at Europort? Visit theShipBuilding Industry stand: 2220.