Kees van der Staaij | Marstrat

Insightful introduction into the Northern maritime cluster for Kees van der Staaij

On April 8th and 9th, Kees van der Staaij, the cabinet envoy of the maritime manufacturing industry, and his team visited the maritime cluster Groningen. During the visit, that was organised by Marstrat Partner Harry Doze, Van der Staaij got an in depth introduction into the innovative power of the Dutch Northern maritime cluster.

After being welcomed by the King’s Commissioner, René Paas, and the deputy economic affairs Henk Emmens, an interesting discussion arose about process improvement within the maritime sector and how it is tackled in Groningen.

Process improvement and innovation

To deepen the discussion even further, visits were made to Conoship International and Eekels Technology where, in close cooperation with MSN, it was indicated how process improvement and innovation contribute to strengthening the (Northern) maritime cluster.

On 9 April, the first step was a visit to Delfzijl, where the cement carrier built at Royal Bodewes in Hoogezand was impressively handed over to its Taiwanese owner.

Financing sustainable innovations

Then, at Royal Wagenborg, it was time to draw attention to the financing problems at shipyards and suppliers, with specific attention to future sustainable innovations, the expected increase in newbuilding’s and geopolitical developments. Also due to the presence of Atradius and NESEC, this substantive discussion could be held with the parties involved.

The afternoon was concluded by a number of shipowners who, together with the KVNR, also further explored the future challenges in the field of ship financing.

At the end of this visit, it was clear that those involved had been able to clarify the challenges facing the maritime cluster and how the North intends to deal with with them and, of course, what role the maritime agenda can play in this.

Harry Doze, partner at Marstrat and initiator of the Groninger Maritime Board, organised this visit in close consultation with those involved.