Fife Council has welcomed international delegations and high-profile guests as part of its CLIPPER Interreg project, and EU fund that supports cross-border and international cooperation to boost maritime businesses.

The visit to Scotland – where delegates visited a range of locations important for the maritime sector, including Rosyth, Methil and St Andrews – benefitted business, local authorities, as well as the further and higher education sectors.

The CLIPPER project involves seven regions across Europe, including Fife, that are home to more traditional shipyards and naval dockyards and are now having to diversify and innovate.

Councillor Altany Craik, Convener, Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee, said:

“Fife’s CLIPPER project is working to develop public policies to better support businesses in the maritime sector as they diversify and change business practice to tackle new opportunities, such as offshore renewable energy. This includes better understanding of newer financing platforms, such as crowdfunding to develop new sources of investment.”

The event, which a number of Fife businesses took part in, was designed to enable organisations to learn from one another and provide knowledge of the marine environment that can support diversification, especially into offshore renewables.

The three-day programme included visits to the Fife Renewables Innovation Centre, Forth Ports and St Andrews and a round table discussion focused on “Public-Private sector support for SMEs in maritime areas”, chaired by European Commission Director of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Bernhard Friess.