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Maritime by Holland : A proud seafaring nation

Maritime by Holland : A proud seafaring nation

The Netherlands is a proud seafaring nation, with a self-created maritime manufacturing industry. The ships we design and build in the Netherlands are the calling cards for our sector, reaching ports around the world or performing heavy work offshore. Our ships fly the Dutch tricolour with pride, or are operated by shipping lines where this flag hangs on their wall.

As a maritime trading country, we have access to a fantastic logistical chain, with the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam as leading international icons. Our maritime infrastructure  engineers are also known around the globe. They recently played a leading role in building the second Suez Canal, for instance. However, our sector covers a far wider spectrum of companies. Consider for example our offshore, shipbuilding, shipping, inland shipping, mega-yacht building and fisheries. With some 12,000 companies, they offer employment to 265,000 people, and the sector achieves an added value of almost 24 billion euros.

“As a maritime nation, we have a high-quality navy to protect our trading and national interests. This has allowed a unique ecosystem to evolve over the years, in which the navy, knowledge institutions and industry work closely together to develop and build ships. The Royal Dutch Navy acts as ‘launching customer’ for these innovative ship types and systems. Through this interchange of operational maritime experience and high-technology shipbuilding, the Netherlands always has access to the most modern vessels, at an attractive price. These ship types are also desired for export or transfer, as modernised second-hand vessels. So there is a mutual benefit for the navy and the business sector.”

The text above comes from a study we recently presented to the Dutch Minister of Defence. It serves as a guideline for the new Dutch government which is currently under formation. For us it’s not just about building the navy ships. Innovation in naval construction is a significant driver for acquiring knowledge within the entire maritime sector. So we strive to keep this ecosystem in place. And that helps us to be effective in other projects. For example our experiences with hybrid power for navy vessels offer a solution for the challenges we face when it comes to making our ocean-going and inland shipping fleets even more sustainable.

The knowledge acquired over the entire spectrum in naval shipbuilding also applies across the full range of the maritime sector through knowledge institutions like, TNO and the Delft University of Technology. The ecosystem we have created around our naval shipbuilding has thus become the touchstone for the Dutch maritime industry. In this way not only does our navy protect our trading interests, but it also drives innovation within our entire sector. A sector which is vibrant, high-tech and hands-on, and ready to develop the next generation of cutting edge naval ships.

Wim van Sluis
Chairman Nederland Maritiem Land (Maritime by Holland)

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