Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Brigitte Zypries: Digitisation at the top of the agenda of the 10th National Maritime Conference.

© BMWi/Maurice Weiss

On 4 April, Federal Government Coordinator for the Maritime Industry State Secretary Uwe Beckmeyer hosted the 10th National Maritime Conference in Hamburg which brought together more than 740 stakeholders from the business sector, trade unions, academia, research, as well as politics and administration. This year’s conference took a very close look at digitisation within the maritime industry.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Brigitte Zypries said: "The maritime industry is one of the key sectors for Germany, not least in terms of exports. The Maritime Industry accounts for 400,000 jobs and generates 50 billion euros in turnover every year; it successfully combines cutting-edge technology with considerable high innovation potential. The future will be digital: this applies not least to the maritime industry. We aim to work together to ensure that the German maritime industry continues to lead on technology and remains competitive at a global level."

Federal Government Coordinator for the Maritime Industry Uwe Beckmeyer said: "Maritime businesses are part of the logistics sector, which means that they are closely connected with one another. As digitisation takes hold, we can see that production and services processes are becoming increasingly interconnected. We want to help the maritime industry to develop entire value chains so they can operate successfully around the world. I am therefore delighted that as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the National Maritime Conference in Hamburg this year, we have launched a wide range of important initiatives targeted at Germany’s maritime industry and that the Federal Government, the German Länder, the business associations and the trade unions have succeeded in adopting a joint Declaration on Digitisation."

The joint Declaration on Digitisation sets out key fields of action and measures that are to make the sector fit for the digital revolution. These include in particular expanding digital infrastructure, transferring data within the maritime supply chain in a smart manner, providing targeted funding for the digitisation of businesses under our maritime R&D programmes and introducing international industry standards. Digitisation is one of nine pillars that have been set out in the 'Maritime Agenda 2025' which was adopted by the Federal Cabinet in January 2017.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy also used the conference to join with the German Shipbuilding and Ocean Industries Association (VSM) and the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) to launch an initiative on the energy transition in the maritime industry. This initiative seeks to encourage stakeholders from the worlds of business, politics and civil society to engage in a nation-wide dialogue on the energy transition in the maritime industry.