Financial analysis of the Atlantic Area Shipbuilding Ancillary Industry

This activity will focus on reviewing existing and new financial instruments. Given the uncertain financial situation of the EU economy and the global maritime industry significant reduction in order books, the activity is very necessary; although there are clear recovery signs, the growth of the naval sector in the Atlantic Area is still fragile. Maritime economy is key to regional growth across the region, with small to medium size organisations taking the lead.

Thus, it will provide new approaches and instruments for the sector to innovate in general; it will be built on the findings of the AuxNavalia Project and will update the financial analyses conducted with more recent data (2009 onwards) for the sector in the Area. The activity outcome, in combination with the surveys developed in Auxnavalia Project, will set the basis for future planning for the sector. The time frame for future projections will be 10 years.

Survey on new business opportunities for the Atlantic Area Shipbuilding Ancillary Industry

The survey will identify the business opportunities, with special focus on safety, in various areas of the world by taking into account all emerging economies (e.g. Brazil, Russia, etc), the demand for innovative services and products (e.g. response equipment, marine renewable energy) both globally and in the region, and the exploration of remote and naturally hostile areas (e.g. Arctic).

In a highly competitive and demanding market the sustainability of the shipbuilding ancillary sector in the Atlantic Area depends on its ability to diversify and to seek these new markets, innovative products and new safety services. In this process, business opportunities will have to be sought at a worldwide scale and will have to be supported by (i) the long documented experience of the sector in the Area, and (ii) the demonstration of the flexibility and the innovation capacity to accommodate a diverse range of vessels and services.

Design of Business plan models for the Atlantic Area Shipbuilding Ancillary SMEs

The sector will be provided with a chance to firmly establish itself in the international market by taking into account the present situation and the projections in the medium future (i.e. the next 10 years). This objective will be achieved by developing three business plan models, which will explore different areas of the map of opportunities, and will address the needs of companies of three different sizes (in terms of production and annual turnover capability).

The information which has been obtained with the 2 previous activities, in combination to the knowledge transfer from activities of AuxNavalia, constitutes the market conditions and safety demands in which companies have to operate. The models will demonstrate the manner in which new knowledge can be included in the company structure, and will indicate how new, innovative products can be developed and marketed. The models will be generic in character so that they can be modified and tailored to the needs of various companies in the sector.

Piloting business Plan cases - Case studies

Companies will be tangibly demonstrated the meaning of investing in innovation and the impact this can have in business and product development, with special focus on safety. It will be done upon delivery of the business plan models, by developing a series of case studies. The focus of the case studies will be on:

Innovation and technology transfer programme of the ancillary industry

Based on the success of this activity in Auxnavalia project (10 R+D+i projects designed and more than 35 Million€ have been induced until now), as well as on the experience and lessons gathered by the participating organisations, this activity will foster the collaboration between the shipbuilding ancillary industry and technological/R+D+i centres. This way that new specific research lines and services will be developed for the very first time, to reinforce the sector competitiveness and innovation capacity, specially on safety. As a change from Auxnavalia Project, AuxnavaliaPlus will incorporate the results arising from the previous activities. A catalogue of current European R+D+i projects will be produced to encourage companies participation in such projects, as well as to facilitate their understanding about them.

Innovation and technology information service

A permanent technological follow up service to the Shipbuilding Ancillary Industry in the Atlantic Area will be implemented. This will provide the companies with ongoing knowledge about the most recent developments, services, techniques, methods applied or with potential to be applied in the sector. It will include study visits to the most competitive shipbuilding  areas/companies in Europe, which will provide the possibility to benchmark the Atlantic Area position in the global market.

Pool of knowledge and know-how retention and transfer for the Shipbuilding Ancillary industry

This service aims to help the industry to become more competitive by effectively retaining and transferring the already existing knowledge and know-how in every company to the coming generations. A model of permanent and effective network collaboration to manage knowledge and know-how will be promoted, as this know-how forms the necessary basis to create new products and services, and to introduce innovation processes. The necessity to implement this activity is one of the lessons learnt during Auxnavalia project by all partners, as this loss of knowledge and know-how is quite common during crisis times, when companies reduce their staffs and a lot of experienced workers are forced to leave before expected and dramatically. Recovering this lost know-how is very difficult, and makes the introduction of new knowledge and innovation processes weaker and less reliable.

Innovation agenda

The resulting document will set the pace for the theoretical development and practical implementation of all forms of innovation in the years to come, based on a unique combination of quantified business expectations, past experience and future aspirations, which guarantees a mature innovation agenda with potential to enhance maritime safety and security. It is the project final activity, and will be dedicated on the distillation of the information that will be collected up to this point. It will be promoted (in a sustainable manner outside the course of a project) through the Shipbuilding Atlantic Platform website. The distinct characteristic of this agenda will be the fact that it will originate from a well-established exercise, i.e. the business plan development, and, on the basis of this, on the interaction with the industry.