Croatia has long been a strong maritime and shipbuilding nation and therefore it was no surprise that Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović was curious about the Swedish maritime sector when she visited Gothenburg.
Lighthouse Director Åsa Burman, who was one of the speakers during the president's visit to Lindholmen Science Park, highlighted Swedish maritime research and innovation and emphasized the importance of cooperation between industry, academia and government to achieve success.
Lighthouse work with autonomous safety was shown as an example of an initiative that came from the needs of industry and society and that have led to new partnerships.
- It's great to have the opportunity to talk about how we work in the maritime sector with cooperation based on industry needs. And to get the chance to reach out to the delegation following the presidential visit, both Swedish and Croatian delegates, is very valuable, Åsa Burman director of Lighthouse says.
Croatia has a long history of ship building and the major Croatian shipyards have historically been owned by the state. Only in recent years, in adapting to the EU regulations, has there been a restructuring and privatization of the shipbuilding industry. The largest shipyard Brodosplit was founded in 1922 and was a state shipyard until 2013. A major customer has been the Stena Concordia Maritime, which among other things had ten P-MAX vessels built at the Brodosplit shipyard.
The maritime sector is seen as one of the most important industrial sectors in Croatia, shipyards and their subcontractors employ up to 10 per cent of the labor force according to the Croatian shipbuilding organization CSC - Jadranbrod.
- Croatia still has a lot of shipyards and the industry has undergone major changes. But they still have to adopt to a changing world, fewer ships are being built and the competition gets tougher.Therefore, it was great that the presidential visit took place at Lindholmen Science Park, an area with great experience of creating new industries and reaching new markets through collaboration, Åsa Burman says.