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North German states push for digitalisation of maritime economy

Senators and ministers meeting in Hamburg agree on new targets for Industry 4.0, Labour 4.0, environment-friendly shipping

The senators and ministers in five north German states agreed Monday (December 19) during a meeting in Hamburg on new targets for the digitalisation of the maritime economy. Joint state efforts will be undertaken offering SMEs more support with the Maritime Cluster North Germany playing a key role. The agenda also included Industry 4.0, Labour 4.0, environment-friendly shipping and infrastructural efforts.

“Expertise does not stop at state borders”

Frank Horch, Senator for Economics in Hamburg, said: “Speeds vary and large firms often seize the opportunities offered by information and communication technology. We must support SMEs as well. The chances linked to digitalisation have to be used without losing sight of the risks. Inactivity is not an option.” Martin Günther, Senator for Economic, Labour and Ports in the Free Hanse City of Bremen, stressed: “Expertise does not stop at state borders. That’s why it’s important for all of us to pool skills and to strengthen them.”

Promoting innovations and infrastructure

Olaf Lies, Minister for Economics in Lower Saxony, said: “Alternative ship propulsion systems were also on the agenda. There was unanimous agreement that greater efforts are needed to save energy and lower emissions. Germany should take a concerted initiative involving commerce, science, government and states and lead the development of a technological market for alternative ship propulsion. Making shipping ever more environment friendly and promoting innovations, the required infrastructure and its implementation should be the objective.”

Linking infrastructure intelligently

Reinhard Meyer, Minster for Economics in Schleswig-Holstein, stressed the importance of the energy transition for north Germany: “We will only achieve long-term acceptance and support in the north when the economic potential of the energy transition has been consistently achieved. For this reason, Schleswig-Holstein has proposed a motion to link the varied infrastructure for gas, electricity, heat and transport intelligently through Power-to-X technologies rather than relying only on electrification.”

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