Lead partner: Mircea cel Batran Naval Academy (Romania)

Mircea cel Batran Naval Academy (MBNA) is an accredited higher education institution in Romania for the maritime officers and specialists for maritime and port industry, both civilian and military. MBNA has its foundation roots in 1872 in ancestor Fleet School, its present value being certified by the Romanian Agency for Quality in Higher Education with highest level of trust, and by different international bodies as high-quality academic institution (e.g. European University Association, IAMU, EMSA, U-Multirank etc). 

MBNA is certified since 2003 in its Quality Management System by Bureau Veritas, based on ISO 9001/2008. The educational offer is focused both on academic (undergraduates and postgraduates programs) and training programs, in field of navigation, naval electro-mechanics, electric engineering, port management and operations, naval equipment and automation, sustainable development and marine environment, counting an average number of 2.500 students and 80 teaching staff core. The educational programs and the training courses on vocational dimension are accredited by the national and international authorities and are developed under ISO 9001/2015 standards. 

MBNA has the operational capacity to provide a wide range of didactic resources for setting up and developing training courses, providing specialized staff and a rich operational endowment, consisting in classes, integrated laboratories, simulators or educational on-line resources and platforms. As academic facilities, MBNA has more than 60 simulators, laboratories, offices and specialized rooms with appropriate modern equipment, a Training Ships Formation (including the Training Ship "Mircea", motorboats and training crafts), a Training Center for Seamanship and Nautical Sports, a Damage Control Centre, an ITC Center, a department of micro-production and practical training, and also a modern sport complex. 

The research and development programs in MBNA are carried out in compliance with the general EU and national framework, covering a wide range of subjects, in field of naval equipment and technology or maritime and port industry. MBNA has developed two major interdisciplinary research centers: Research Centre in Marine Engineering and second, in Naval Engineering and Management. Most relevant results were achieved in several significant area of knowledge as electrical engineering and automation filed, mechanical engineering, sustainable development technologies and maritime networks development. MBNA has been granted both with national funds (under National Plan for Research or Sectorial Initiatives) and European funds, under ESF (Cohesion Structural Funds – Human Resources Capacity), ERDF-RoBg Cross Border Programme, ENPI/IPA programme, or EEA grants on Romanian-Norwegian Programme, where MBNA has been involved as coordinator or project partner in international consortium. Developing such training and research facilities for maritime body of knowledge MBNA has become a relevant educational and research institution in the Black Sea area, availing its services in applied research programs for naval and port industry. Counting on its laboratories, simulators and research centers, as on its valuable human resources, MBNA is ready and capable to contribute in innovation and scientific research in different areas of knowledge defined by the maritime industry.

P1: French Maritime Academy – ENSM (France)

French Maritime Academy is one of the most important maritime higher education institution from the Mediterranean Sea that offers training and carries out research activities in European, national and regional collaborative projects on environment protection and maritime safety. 

ENSM has specific educational infrastructure consists of navigation simulators, machine simulators, ECDIS simulator, dynamic positioning simulators, steam generator. To support this high level of training, the ENSM has been accredited, since 2011, by the Commission of Engineering Titles (CTI) for the training cycle of flight engineers, first-class officers of the Merchant Navy (O1MM). The studies last five and a half years, with a fourth-year largely devoted to navigation. In 2015, the ENSM obtained the renewal of its certification for the seafaring option and in the field of maritime engineering-oriented towards sustainable development and blue growth, for its training courses “Eco-management of the ship” and “Deployment and maintenance of offshore systems”, with the aim of supporting the ecological transition. 

The ENSM is certified by Lloyd's Register for the quality management system. Research activities focus on sustainable development and maritime safety and security. The studies are carried out by Ph.D. and maritime experts. ENMN participates in collaborative projects. Within its research works, the ENSM has partnerships with industrials and laboratories. It has privileged relationships with universities and higher education institutions. 

The ENSM employs more than 180 experienced teachers from the maritime sector and researchers and has specific educational material: navigation simulators, machinery simulators, ECDIS simulators, dynamic positioning simulators, steam plants. The development of research in the maritime safety and security sectors as well as the human factors and energy efficiency ones, are part of the school’s priorities and have more than 1000 students. The training courses provided by the ENSM have to comply with maritime safety and security, commercial issues and sustainable development. All of these stakes require a high level of quality training. The training courses are followed up by on board time, mainly under French flag which is globally recognised as being one of the safest worldwide. It ranks sixth on the white list of the Memorandum de Paris. Heiress to the Schools of Hydrography, Colbert and the National Schools of Merchant Marine (ENMM), the ENSM has a culture of maritime training. School composed of 4 sites whose missions are: 

    • To offer merchant marine officer training and expert (clean ship, offshore maintenance officer) in order to meet the needs of the maritime economy; 

    • To carry out research activities in accordance with the challenges of the future (clean ship, maritime safety and security like cybersecurity).

 One of the objectives of the ENSM is to become an institution with international activity and offering an innovative pedagogy. To this end, the school sets up an office dedicated to the development of international partnerships, the strengthening of student and teacher exchanges. For the innovative pedagogy, ENSM has an active policy of developing these new pedagogies and a dedicated team. 

P2: Lithuanian Maritime Academy - LMA (Lithuania) 

Lithuanian Maritime Academy is an accredited public institution of professional higher education training highly qualified seafarers and other specialists for the maritime industry. LMA operates according to the Lithuanian law of science and higher education, undertaking the mission to educate and train seafarers and maritime business specialists. LMA was established as a Lithuanian Maritime school in 1948. Its present value is certified by the Lithuanian Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC) with the highest level of trust, and by different national and international bodies as a high-quality academic institution (e.g. EMSA, U-Multirank, Lithuanian transport safety administration, Ranking (Reitingai, Lithuania), etc.). 

LMA is certified since 2001 in its Quality Management System comprising seafarers‘ training and professional development by Lloyd`s Register Quality Assurance Lietuva according to the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 standard.

LMA providing 6 study programmes on first cycle level: Marine Navigation (qualification of professional bachelor in Marine technologies, Marine Navigator), Marine Power Plant Operation (qualification of professional bachelor in Marine engineering, Marine engineer), Marine Electrical Power Plant Operation (qualification of professional bachelor in Marine engineering, Marine electrical engineer), Maritime Transport Logistics Technologies (qualification professional bachelor in Marine technologies), Port and Shipping Finance (qualification of professional bachelor in finance), Port and Shipping Management (qualification of professional bachelor in management). All educational programs are accredited by the Lithuanian Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC). LMA providing academic and specialized staff and a rich operational endowment, consisting in classes, integrated laboratories, simulators or educational on-line resources and platforms. 

As academic facilities, LMA has more than 15 simulators, 10 laboratories, workshop for metal works for practical training, facilities for physical and psychological training, offices and specialized rooms with appropriate modern equipment, a Seafarers Training Center, IT Center, and also a modern sport hall. LMA counting an average number of 1000 students and 65 teaching staff core. LMA providing more 30 units accredited seafarers training courses for more than 3 000 seafarers per year. 

The research and development activity in LMA is carried out in compliance with the general EU and national framework, covering a wide range of subjects, in the field of marine technologies and engineering, shipping and port industry. The average of scientific production of staff per year is approx. 45 scientific publications, published in national and international databases. LMA has been granted both with national funds (under EU investment in Lithuania plans or Sectorial initiatives) and European funds, under ESF, Interreg Programme, EU Twinnings programme etc., where LMA has been involved as project leader or project partner. 

Developing such training and research facilities for the maritime industry, LMA has become a relevant educational institution in Europa and in Baltic states, availing its services in applied research programs for the shipping and port industry. Counting on its laboratories, simulators, and training centers as on its valuable human resources, LMA is ready and capable to contribute in innovation and scientific research in different areas of knowledge defined by the maritime industry.

P3: PiriReis University – PRU (Turkey) 

PiriReis University was founded by the support and sponsorship of the whole maritime sector (almost 9000 stakeholders), namely the Turkish Chamber of Shipping (TCS), through the Turkish Maritime Education Foundation (TUDEV) as Maritime University. TÜDEV, forming the core of PRU, has a very successful history of training of seafarers and EU Projects since 1993 to bring the Turkish Shipping Sector to the world-class standards and to establish maritime policies and identify targets that will enhance the economic power, welfare and efficiency of the country in this area as well as to train professional personnel and opening and operating special training institutions for the interested persons to have a career or assisting the educational institutions on maritime to be opened and improve their capabilities in terms of facilities and education with a goal to promote the Turkish Shipping Industry. 

There are 5 faculties, prep school for languages, vocational higher school, continuous education centre, graduate school of social sciences, graduate school of science and engineering; delivering higher education in 3 cycle degrees (BS, Ms, and PhD) in 24 different programs and, associate degrees in 10 different programs. An agreement for PiriReis University to provide maritime education within the framework of international standards and at the highest level had been signed in 2018 with the Qatari Emiri Armed Forces. In accordance with this agreement, in February 2019, PiriReis University has started to provide 6-year educational services in the setting up, management and education and training of the Qatari Emiri Naval Forces affiliate Academy (Naval Military College), which is comprised of 4 programs. 

There are totally 210 permanent full-time academic staff, 100 admin staff and over 4000 full-time degree students including students from foreign countries. Approximately 600 professionals are attending professional development courses at the continuous vocational education centre of the university at various ranks and seniority in different times of the year. PRU through its scientific and academic background, consolidated experience in direct management of maritime scientific and vocational education and close links with stakeholders will play a major role in the project to ensure the quality of the action and to set up theoretical and practical testing of the programme. Its scientific and academic background will be also made available in building the training programme. The consolidated links with maritime stakeholders and institutions will provide direct feedback to test the project products and to disseminate and exploit the project results. It will play a key role on dissemination through its close relationship with the Turkish Chamber of Shipping. 

The research and development programs are carried out in compliance with the general EU and national framework, covering a wide range of subjects in all fields of marine sciences, technology, engineering, law, and economics and administrative sciences. Technology Transfer Office at Technopark Istanbul maintains contacts with different parts of the industry. The establishment of a new incubation center is also in progress to support researchers through dedicated mentoring and investors.

P4: University of Ljubljana - Faculty of Maritime Studies and Transport – FMST (Slovenia)

University of Ljubljana (UL) is is the oldest, largest, and internationally best ranked university in Slovenia, being among the top 500 universities according to the ARWU Shanghai ranking. The university was established in 1919 and encompasses 23 faculties, 3 art academies and 3 associated members. STUDY - by number of students UL ranks among the largest HEI in Europe with more than 40,000 students. It covers all ISCED areas in the first and second cycle study programs and leads the way in some new developments in technology and research (cognitive science, nanotechnologies, environmental sciences, biomedicine etc.). By number of employees UL ranks as medium-sized HEI and employs approximately 5.700 employees, with more than 3.500 academic staff. 

From 2008 UL is committed to respect the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for Recruitment of Researchers, which led to the award of the “HR Excellence in Research” from 2013.  UL is very active in national and international R&D and educational programmes, and creates almost half of the research results of Slovenia. In 2019 UL researchers worked in 307 research groups on 132 national research programmes, 459 national research projects with more than 4.251 registered researchers. 

UL is also very active in international research and education programs. In the programming period 2009-2019 University of Ljubljana altogether cooperated in 1.355 European projects, including 129 FP7 projects, which rank UL on the first place in the EU-13 countries among the research organisations (source MIRRIS report). In 2019 UL was involved in 490 European projects, including 107 running ERASMUS+ projects and 43 projects in the European territorial cooperation programme. University of Ljubljana is involved in more than 152 HORIZON2020 projects, including 4 ERC grants, 1 ERA-CHAIR and 1 Twinning project, and 21 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. TTO - To protect the university intellectual property developed through the public financed research projects and to improve the technology transfer from the university to the industry, a central university Technology Transfer Office was established in 2007. University develops and accelerates the research also through the University Committee for R&D, and Committee for Innovation, which consists of representatives of most propulsive Faculties. University Incubator and Institute for Innovation and Development and the Slovenian Innovation Hub are three other units in which the University of Ljubljana supports innovation and development in different ways along with laboratories and other research units within Faculties. Membership in UNICA, Utrecht Network (UN), European University Association (EUA), CEEPUS, the Guild, CELSA, LERU CE7, Central European Exchange Program, CEI University network, SAR Scholars at Risk and Rector’s Conference Alpe Jadran. 

The Faculty of Maritime Studies and Transport (FMST) is a higher education and training institution engaged in educational, scientific and research work primarily in the fields of maritime studies, transport and logistics with professors with highest academic titles, experts in navigation and marines engineering, and transport and logistics. 

FMST operates with a yearly budget of about 2.5 million €. It has modern hardware and software computer equipment and various laboratories for research in the fields of maritime education, transport and logistics. In addition, the faculty has navigation/engine room simulators for the education and training of seafarers as well as a variety of simulators for real time simulations of real-life transport and logistics situations. Therefore, FMST is a leading (and only) higher education institution in Slovenia that covers the field of maritime studies, logistics and transport, and enables its students to become well-educated, competent and skilled employees in the maritime, transport, and logistics sectors. 

In addition, FMST has very good connections with the Slovene Maritime Administration and the Slovene maritime industry so that any innovative approaches, platforms and tools can be tested and piloted by involving different stakeholders in this process. The small size of FMST makes the piloting of innovative approaches and methods feasible and easy to evaluate. From here, the results and good practices can then be disseminated and transferred to other university members, project partners, and the maritime industry in general. The dissemination of good practices adopted through the project would further be enabled through papers presented at conferences, and articles published in national and international journals and monographs. Finally, yet importantly, the favourable geographical position of FMST on the shores of the Adriatic Sea makes it an attractive venue for a project partner meeting or workshop.