Dutch Maritime Research, Development and Innovation Expenditure


Fist Marine International,

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Delft University Press


Research, development and innovation are key-drivers of the competitive position of Dutch shipping, dredging, offshore, inland shipping, shipbuilding, marine equipment manufacturing, yacht building and naval construction. The demand for R, D & I in these market sectors is in turn the key-driver for the maritime research institutes and the maritime services sector in the widest sense. One supports the other and this dynamic process leads to a constant stream of incremental and fundamental innovations in products, entire systems and production and operational processes. Unlike the automobile and aeronautics industries, the maritime industry produces many prototypes. The R, D & I expenditures are part of the normal design, construction, building and operation of ships and other floating structures and are seldom measured by the companies under a separate administrative heading. Therefore it is often difficult to demonstrate to the outside world the relatively high level of research, development and innovation investment that goes into each new piece of equipment. In order to bring the focus on this important issue, the Dutch Maritime Network has taken the initiative to measure the extent of R, D & I expenditure in the maritime cluster, along the lines of the Leadership 2015 initiative of the European shipbuilders CESA. The results are revealing, as the hitherto unseen level of R, D & I expenditure is higher than envisaged. Further work is required by many companies in the Dutch maritime cluster if the true volume of annual R, D & I expenditure is to be known. This study also contains guidelines for the companies that can be used to apply a standard definition of the often difficult concepts of maritime research, development and innovation.