One of the priority objectives of MCN is to establish networks. Exchanging information and current know-how, and meeting with potential customers help create a substantial lead in knowledge, promote competitiveness and therefore success. Originally developed as a project work by students of the economic study courses offered by the Department of Maritime and Logistics Studies, the Jade University – in cooperation with the MCN office in Lower Saxony – has been serving as an important platform for industry representatives from science and industry since autumn 2013 with its “Forum Maritim”.
The expansion of the Maritime Cluster Northern Germany to include the federal state of Lower Saxony was the trigger. Strategically ideal, the new office was located at the Maritime Campus of the Jade University of Applied Sciences in Elsfleth – the largest nautical training centre in Germany. The Jade University offers a wide range of Bachelor degree programmes in International Logistics Management, Maritime Transport and Port Economics, Nautical Science and the Master's degree programme in Maritime Management. The training centre for ship mechanics is located in the immediate vicinity.
The students of the Maritime Campus already have some practice in networking as it is lived at MCN: interdisciplinary cooperation among the approximately 8,000 students from various disciplines at the three locations – in addition to Elsfleth, the Jade University has other locations in Wilhelmshaven and Oldenburg – is purposefully promoted by the university board. With the establishment of MCN, the idea of intensifying networking with the maritime industry arose among the students of the economic study courses of the Department of Maritime and Logistics Studies. The “Forum Maritim” series of events was launched as part of a project work with significant support from MCN staff. The goal: an optimised exchange of information and purposeful cross-state networking of members of universities with companies in the maritime sector.
Interest was so great that the project quickly became a regular series of events. “In close cooperation between Jade University and MCN Lower Saxony, events on current topics and issues in the industry have been organised twice a year since autumn 2013,” reported Prof. Dr. Ralf Wandelt, Dean of the Department of Maritime and Logistics Studies at the Jade University of Applied Sciences. After topic-specific keynote speeches, the participants will discuss forward-looking issues such as “Challenges and opportunities for inland water navigation as a mode of transport”, “Green Shipping” and “Green Ports”.
The conference is aimed at university scientists, company representatives, representatives from politics and other interested parties. Thanks to her positive experience as a coordinator for cross-state cooperation, Dr. Susanne Neumann, head of the MCN office in Lower Saxony, is particularly committed to looking beyond her own federal state: “Companies don't limit their economic activities to just one federal state – so why should our network do that?”