The new Maritime Strategy that was presented by the minister of Infrastructure Anna Johansson in the end of August rests on three legs; Sea in balance, competitive maritime trade and industry and attractive coastal areas.
The strategy emphasizes both the possibilities of reducing harmful emissions by using the waterway instead of the road, and at the same time reducing the emissions of the maritime sector. It also highlights the need for research and innovation within the maritime sector. Strategies to prevent accidents at sea need to be developed, for instance sea monitoring and information exchange. New technology is important for the safety on board as well as for the efficiency and the environment performance within the shipping industry.
The strategy acknowledges that many academies in Sweden are conducting maritime and marine research and that there are a few industrial PhD-students, paid for by the industry, but that there is a possibility for the maritime industry to improve their assets by increasing that number.
Innovation is crucial to strengthen the maritime companies’ competitiveness as well as to meet the environmental and social challenges, according to the strategy.
Innovation platforms, where small and middle-sized companies can collaborate with large companies and academies and institutes, are important and strategic partnership between regions, industry, academies, institutes and the public sector are needed to realise this vision. Lighthouse is highlighted in the strategy as a role model for contributing to collaboration and technology development, and used as an example for others to follow. Increased international collaboration is also something the government wants to see more of in the future.
– The government understands that much transportation must be moved from road to sea in order to have a sustainable transport system in the future, and it is obvious that maritime research and innovation need more resources than is invested today. The focus areas that Lighthouse has set out are fully compatible with the maritime strategy, which for example calls for cleaner and less emissions and a safer sea traffic that builds upon information exchange, Lighthouse director Åsa Burman says in respons to the strategy.