SmartComp News

Smart cooperation, not competing is the key to the success for Baltic maritime cluster companies. This was the shared message that speakers brought up in SmartComp Consultation Day that was organised in Tallinn last week. Consultation Day was organised as a part of JCI Estonia’s annual conference Prosperous life around the Baltic Sea. The event attracted about 200 participants from 10 countries, including 50 SmartComp guests from Estonia.

Minister of the Environment Mrs. Keit Pentus-Rosimannus emphasized in her opening speech that Estonian natural environment is a common asset. Construction and development projects involving the sea are frequently missing the full view of the ecosystem. “It is not possible to begin the detailed planning of mainland development without the full general planning of the region. Unfortunately it is not always in this way in marine industry.

Mr. Alari Purju, Professor of Public Sector Economics at Tallinn University of Technology, and Mrs. Silja Lassur, Researcher of Estonian Institute for Future Studies at Tallinn University introduced the Estonian part of SmartComp research findings. The project researchers interviewed the managers of Estonian maritime companies to find out, what kind of strategies the companies have in adjusting to the new challenges they are facing. It was found out that surviving strategies were fast adaptation, internationalisation, specializing and cooperation. The cooperation between marine cluster and the countries in Central Baltic Region is considered to be important in shaping the North-South directed transport corridor related to the RailBaltic.

Mr. Mihkel Kangur, ecologist and director of Institute of Ecology at Tallinn University presented the unique Estonian coastline. Preservation of the coastline is a challenge when planning the coastal areas, but the coastline has a great potential for marine tourism. The smart development of the small ports network would open the long awaited door to West European yacht sailors. “It is hard to see the sea as a friend if it is dangerous to the buildings on the coast. For Estonians the coast has been a bordered zone for too long time. The previous wisdom of how to live together with the sea, so that both parts benefit from it, has been forgotten. We must share the knowledge of how to understand and act wisely in the environment. Only when we see ourselves as a part of the marine ecosystem, we will learn to really love the sea.

Consultation Day was concluded with panel discussion. The moderator was Paul Illimar, Development Manager of Estonian Logistics Cluster. The discussants were Rauno Parras (Estonian Air, Chief Commercial Officer), Juha Kivinen Ruori Oy), Alari Purju and Erik Terk(SmartComp partner from Tallinn University, professor of Estonian Institute for Future Studies). The main topic was sea transportation after the 1st of January 2015 when the new EU sulphur directive comes into effect. The directive can double the shipping expenses. Erik Terk mentioned that the changes in transport and logistics are inevitable. “We can expect that there will be limitations on all transport. Shipping just is the first one that is going to be changed in a huge amount.

It was a very inspiring day that opened new thoughts. I will face the new week with a really good feeling and energy”, said Urmas Treiel, Manager of Väinamere Lines Ltd.

Additional information:

Esta Kaal, SmartComp Communication Expert, esta.kaal@tlu.ee, +372 5122718
Alari Purju, SmartComp Expert of Marine Policy and Business, alari.purju@ttu.ee, +372 5116537

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