On 28 January 2019, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, visited Rotterdam to meet Damen Shipyards Group and other Dutch maritime industry leaders.
At this major event, Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen heard presentations from Damen, Van Oord and other key representatives of the country’s thriving maritime industry.
The presentations took place on a Damen vessel, FCS 2610, which transported the minister, officials and maritime industry representatives from the head office of Hatenboer-Water in Schiedam, along the Nieuwe Maas, to the head office of Van Oord in Rotterdam.
René Berkvens, CEO of the Damen Group, says: “We were happy to welcome Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen to Rotterdam today, and we appreciate her continued interest in, and strong support of, our maritime sector. Face-to-face meetings like this help to inform the government policies, programmes, regulations and infrastructure changes needed to foster new technologies and business growth.”
Three industry leaders gave the minister presentations on innovations and developments in: maritime technology (speaker Bas Buchner, President, Maritime Research Institute Netherlands); water technology (speaker Willem Buijs, CEO of Hatenboer-Water); and delta technology (speaker Hendrik Postma, Chairman of the Association of Marine Contractors).
Other participants contributed to the themes of ‘clean’, ‘smart’ and ‘safe’. These were respectively: speaker Peter Paul van Voorst, Founder of Skoon Energy; speaker Toine Cleophas, Manager Research at Damen Shipyards Group; and four students from Delft University of Technology, who demonstrated new emergency flotation and stability devices.
Particular topics included ‘better ships, cleaner oceans’, private-public partnerships, autonomous shipping, electric shipping, digitalisation, and ship management mobile apps.
The maritime sector is part of the top sector ‘Water and Maritime’ – one of the Government’s nine priority, high growth, export-oriented sectors of the economy. The Netherlands has long been a world leader in maritime engineering and water management, which encompass activities such as shipbuilding, hydraulic engineering, waterway engineering, land reclamation, dredging, flood protection, water treatment, and energy generation.