pomorski park naukowo- technologiczny gdynia
Aleja Zwycięstwa 96/98
The most significant maritime economy event was held on 12 October, Friday, at the Pomeranian Science and Technology Park in Gdynia. Approximately 650 people from Poland and the rest of the world took part in presentations and debates on challenges, threats and plans of the maritime industry
Wojciech Szczurek, the Mayor of Gdynia, during a speech inaugurating the Forum. Photo:
P. Kozłowski/Gdynia Development Agency
Innovation in the maritime economy was a theme of this year’s Forum, and guests congregated in the Conference Centre of the Pomeranian Science and Technology Park were also discussing the potential of cooperation between Polish and French shipbuilding industries, global ship fleet management sector, global maritime transport and future of the maritime industry in Europe in the context of threats arising from economic expansion of China.
“There is no other option, there is no turning back from upgrading, from challenging new technologies which are coming up and, in principle, they are drawing on in each sector of the maritime economy. This refers to management of ships, management of ports, logistics, let alone autonomous ships,” said Sławomir Kalicki, a leader of the Maritime Economy Forum Gdynia.
In turn, Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychała, the Deputy Mayor of Gdynia, present at the Forum paid attention to the importance of the event.
“If the maritime economy is the most essential area of the economy for Gdynia, and if in the maritime economy it is the most crucial event in the whole year, it is obvious that for the entire city it is both a feast and a day of very important meetings, very significant decisions, extremely substantial plans for the future months,” said Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychała, the Deputy Mayor of Gdynia in charge of Economy.
Traditionally, the Forum was solemnly opened by Mayor of Gdynia Wojciech Szczurek, and Katarzyna Krzywda, the Director of the Maritime Economy Department in the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation, who as the first special guest took the floor reading a letter from absent Minister Marek Gróbarczyk.
Katarzyna Krzywda - Director of the Maritime Economy Department, the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation. Photo: P. Kozłowski/Gdynia Development Agency
Prof. Jonathan Holslag, one of the most significant European specialists in Asian affairs, closely cooperating with the European Commission within this scope, was one of the experts of this year’s Forum.
“We can see increasing competition from China. There is a lot of unfair competition in the lead of the shipbuilding industry as well since the Chinese government ensures support in the amount of billion dollars for its own shipyards, whereas all companies do not have such possibilities,” said prof. Jonathan Holslag, Vrije Universiteit Brussels.
Professor Jonathan Holslag. Photo: P. Kozłowski/Gdynia Development Agency
In addition, in her presentation, Andreea Strachinescu - a person in charge of the Department of Innovations, Marine Knowledge and Investments in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, emphasised the necessity for unity in the light of the changes that are taking place and threats resulting from them.
“The maritime economy sector is very divided. We are in need of innovations and an ability to cope with international competition,” said Magdalena Andreea Strachinescu Olteanu from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
Magdalena Andreea Strachinescu Olteanu. Photo: P. Kozłowski/Gdynia Development Agency
This year’s Maritime Economy Forum Gdynia 2018 also comprised four parallel thematic panels: “Sea Ports”, “Maritime Logistics”, “Ship Management” and “Maritime Industries”.
“We were cooperating with the French shipbuilding industry sometime in the early 1990s. Whereas, from then on the cooperation has only come down to contacts between particular companies, however it is much less than could be expected from the opportunities existing on the French part and Polish side. At least two segments: the first one, which is dependent only on businessmen’s will, includes cruise ships. And the second one depends on political factors i.e. armament that is naval forces and submarines,” says Jerzy Czuczman, the President of the Society of Polish Naval Architects and Marine Engineers KORAB, a leader of the Maritime Industries panel.
The Sea Ports panel was completely centred around on technologies 4.0 in Polish ports, on the extraordinary possibilities arising from the fourth industrial revolution but also on difficulties to cope with and outlays that must be incurred so that Polish ports will be able to meet its requirements.
Modern technologies were also a subject matter of the Maritime Logistics panel. Guests, gathered at the panel, were discussing the present situation on the global market of the Transport / Forwarding / Logistics sector and its impact on the industry in Poland too.
By contrast, the Ship Management panel guests were dealing with an issue of consolidation of services provided by companies operating in the shipping industry. The topic on re-establishment of the national flag on ships owned by the Polish commercial fleet was raised as well. For years, this theme has given rise to a lot of emotion in the shipping environment.
Development plans of the Port of Gdynia were presented at the Maritime Economy Forum Gdynia 2018 too.
“Construction of the Outer Port and purchase of lands for building the Logistics Valley i.e.
a land-based back-up facility of the port in Kosakowo municipality are incorporated into our development plans. We wish to enlarge our port, to extend it considerably, ultimately its surface area will be, more or less, three times larger. Here, investments such as the Red Road plus the railway line 201 are obviously required,” says Adam Meller, the President of the Port of Gdynia Authority S.A.
Adam Meller, the President of the Port of Gdynia Authority S.A. Photo P. Kozłowski/Gdynia Development Agency
Also Wojciech Szczurek, the Mayor of Gdynia appealed, in his speech opening the Forum, for the State support to construct the Red Road. “For the maritime city, this debate is also
a very significant reflection on development directions of the city. Today, construction of the Red Road, partially by the State, in part also by the city and the port, on which we commit ourselves, with the use of European funds is a huge challenge for the Port of Gdynia. It is the sole opportunity for the port to evolve dynamically, and for the maritime economy, as always in Gdynia, to occupy this special place on the economic map of our city.”
Parallel events were held within this year’s edition of the Forum as well. A “Shoreward tourism” seminar whose subject matter included, among others, trends, opportunities and threats for the Baltic Sea region, in particular in nautical and cruising tourism, and “inspirations from the sea” was one of them. Participants of the event could also watch an exhibition of photographs “Independent Maritime Poland”, organised together with the Port of Gdynia Authority S.A.
Participants of the “Shoreward tourism” seminar. Photo: P. Kozłowski/Gdynia Development Agency
A few days before the Forum, study visits of school children in maritime industry enterprises took place too. The young people came to see such companies as DNV GL, Crist Shipyard and the BCT Baltic Container Terminal. In each company, the schoolchildren learnt about the maritime economy from its most modern side - they could watch how an inspection drone is operated, they visited a construction site of 4 vessels built in CRIST and became familiarised with work of the container terminal from the centre.
During the Forum, prizes for the best students of maritime majors and an author of a film promoting the maritime economy were handed in. This year, the prize went to Adrian Apanel for the film “Sea monsters”.
Adrian Apanel (on the left)
At the Forum, also an awardof the Polish Ship Managers’ Association [PZZS]was granted for the top achieving graduate of maritime studies.
During the Forum, a prize of the Polish Ship Managers’ Association [PZZS] was handed in as well for the top achieving graduate of maritime majors. The following Laureates received prizes in the Final of the Competition for the Award of the Best Graduate of the Maritime University 2018:
Eric Kulbiej - Winner, Prize of PLN 10,000 (The Maritime University of Szczecin)
Maciej Weber - 2nd Place, Prize of PLN 2,500 (The Maritime University of Szczecin)
Jamal Hamoud - 3rd Place, Prize of PLN 2,500 (The Polish Naval Academy of the Heroes of Westerplatte in Gdynia)
Marek Zbigniew Sojka - Special Prize of PLN 2,200 (The Maritime University of Szczecin)
Marcin Konieczny - Finalist (The Maritime University of Szczecin)
Laureates of the competition