CONSORTEX Partners Hosted by CIT

CONSORTEX Partners Hosted by CIT

Published on: Thursday, 14 June 2018

Representatives from seven partner regions arrived in Cork on 12th June for a two day meeting of the Consortex project - European Internationalisation Maritime Consortia in the shipbuilding & ancillary industries. The initiative is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme. The project has a budget of €1.6 million, over 24 months and seeks to improve the competitiveness of the shipbuilding sector in the Atlantic Area.

The project, which kicked off 6 months ago in Bilbao aims to form at least five export consortia consisting of six or more European interregional SME’s specialised in the manufacture of certain built-in packages of naval production (bridge, engine room, accommodation and deck) for a certain type of shipbuilding: offshore vessels, marine power plants, cruise ships and scientific vessels, to improve their market positioning, sign contracts and make international sales. Cork Institute of Technology will be responsible for engaging SMEs within the maritime sector in Ireland with a view to creating new partnerships with their European counterparts in order to access new markets and develop new regional economic development opportunities.

The first element of the partners meeting focused on sharing data for the Economic Sector and Territories Diagnosis and Supply and Agents Analysis – critical foundation components for the project to develop collaborative export consortia across the Atlantic Area.

Image: Consortex Project partners assemble at the National Maritime College before their site visit and tour, Cork on 12/06/18.

On Tuesday afternoon the Consortex partners had a tour of National Maritime College of Ireland one of CITs four campus. The tour of NMCI which was facilitated by Paul Shanahan and Maria Looney of the Halpin Research Centre, and included a visit to the charting facilities, the sea survival, firefighting and damage control training facilities on campus. All undergraduate students attending courses at NMCI have to undertake the sea survival, firefighting and damage control modules before being validated to work at sea.

Image: Views of Cork Harbour from the Marine 270° Full-mission Bridge Simulator

The tour also included a demonstration in the Marine 270° Full-mission Bridge Simulator from Gavin McCarthy of the Irish Navy. The state of the art simulator which is used for training Navigation and Engineering personnel who work on board ships, was set up for partners to bring a naval vessel into Cork harbour. Simulations of all major harbours across the globe are available from the simulator to give student teams and visitors the best in training facilities to prepare for a career at sea.


After the NMCI tour, the partners were taken on a Grand Harbour Adventure Tour by Cork Sea Safari. The two hour tour included an in-depth look at Cork Harbour and all the highlights that make it so special. Including breath taking views of the harbours major attractions including Cobh, Roches Point Lighthouse, Spike Island, Haulbowline, Crosshaven, forts Camden & Carlisle as well as some of Cork’s beautiful bays and coves.

Image: Consortex Project partners assemble before their partner meeting at CIT, Cork on 13/06/18.

ON Wednesday morning the partners met early at the offices of the V-LINC research group on CIT Campus to discuss and develop the methodologies for the Capitalization strategy, the Export Consortia Incorporation process and the Business Plans Implementation and Project Sustainability.

Dr John Hobbs believes that “the steering committee meeting was an extremely valuable opportunity to discuss face to face the intricacies and methodologies of the Consortex project. This is to ensure that the project development path is correct – and that cultural differences between the maritime sectors in each partner region are taken into account at this early stage. To give us the best opportunity of building collaborations between SMEs in partner regions.”

CONSORTEX project, entitled "European Internationalisation Maritime Consortia", is led by Fórum Maritimo Vasco (FMV) based in Bilbao, and has partners from the five Member States of the Atlantic Area Programme (Portugal, Spain, France, Ireland and UK). The partnership includes; Fórum Maritimo Vasco (Bilbao, Spain); Fórum Oceano (Norte, Portugal); Associação das Indústrias Navais (Lisbon, Portugal); Cork Institute of Technology (Cork, Ireland); National Maritime (UK)  Clúster del Sector Naval Gallego (Galicia, Spain) and Bretagne Pôle Naval (Bretagne, France).

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