The SME Aisle project, funded by the Interreg Central Baltic and coordinated by the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, was launched in 2018 to support the SMEs of the Finnish, Swedish, Estonian and Latvian maritime clusters in accessing Namibia as a gateway to the Southern African region. The project has carried out a number of export promotion trips, researched the target countries’ business opportunities and sought solutions to support SME trade in the Southern African Development Community market.
Simulators form an increasing part of maritime studies. Theoretical studies are put into practice in simulators, where 30 days of supervised training can be carried out on both deck and engine sides. The Maritime Logistics Research Center is cooperating at European level in the training of engineers, which can be partly carried out in an online environment.
The Maritime Logistics Research Center was launched in early 2021 to respond to the development needs of the maritime transport and logistics sector and to contribute to the growth strategy of the Satakunta region. The first year of research and development has been successful. The center has consolidated its position and strengthened the development prospects of the sector.
There is a growing demand for the products and services of the maritime cluster in the markets of Southern Africa. In the future, Southern Africa will be the target of increasing investments. The market consists of an area of up to 300 million consumers. Located on the southern coast of the Atlantic, Namibia is categorized as a gateway to Southern Africa by sea and road.
Satakunta is an export-driven region, and for that, its success and security of supply rely on skilled workforce and the functionality of transport chains. The global field creates business opportunities but at the same time challenges the productivity, the ability for change and the well-being at work of small and medium-sized companies.
Seafaring and shipbuilding are now strongly shaped by different levels of digitalisation and measures towards carbon neutrality. More and more often the ships under construction in shipyards are becoming so called hybrid vessels, in which large lithium battery systems are being installed alongside traditional combustion engines.
The operational environment for companies is changing. Digitalization, customer relationships, technological advancement and many other factors cause a continuous need of development for business. One critical challenge for the development is the lack of experts, which has been recognized nationally and regionally.