Turku Region “Blue Team” Group, made up of 8 people including Vice-Rector of Turku University of Applied Sciences Mr Juhani Soini, and Project Manager Juha Valtanen from the CLIPPER project, visited Brussels on 16-17 October. The objective of the visit was to strengthen the networks in Brussels and to meet Finnish MEPs and relevant EU Officials.

An eight-person Turku Region “Blue Team”, which included representatives from regional authorities, development agencies and universities, met several EU officials from DG MARE, DG REGIO, DG CONNECT and DG MOVE as well as Finnish partners. The Blue team informed them of the significance of maritime industry in Turku Region and the variety of public policy activities concerning maritime industry.

Over the two days, many of the meetings focused on the digitalisation of maritime transportation, as Turku Region companies have a lot of expertise in autonomous vessels. The team held interesting discussions with Finnish MEPs Henna Virkkunen and Merja Kyllönen on the areas of industrial, research and innovation and transport policies and the forthcoming European Horizon programme. In particular, future EU funding on energy efficiency, digitalisation and the entire supply chain was very interesting for the university partners and Turku Region maritime industry.

For the CLIPPER Project it was fruitful to discuss with the MEPs and receive information regarding future funding and updated information on the Blue Investment Platform which aims to accelerate public and private investment in the blue sector. The future of the European maritime industry and the need for EU-level maritime strategy were highlighted during discussions with SeaEurope.