Finland’s Meyer Turku shipyard has been selected to participate in Business Finland’s financing programme.
This scheme is intended to help companies increase their research, development and innovation investments (RDI) in Finland.
Meyer’s NEcOLEAP programme develops carbon neutral and sustainable technological solutions for cruise ships through an extensive co-operation network.
For example, receiving an order for a climate neutral cruise ship at Turku would bring the shipyard and partner network about 12,000 person-years, corresponding to about 9,500 jobs. Its impact on Meyer’s net sales would be around €1 bill and will have a direct impact on Finnish exports.
“With the financing of the EU Recovery Instrument, transport companies can make significant development openings in Finland in accordance with the green transition. These openings have a major impact on the well-being of Finns in terms of employment and business. The Meyer Turku project strengthens the know-how and network of the Finnish maritime cluster, as well as global competitiveness,“ said Business Finland’s, Karin Wikman.
“In the NEcOLEAP programme, we research and develop carbon neutral and sustainable solutions for cruise ships and their construction together with the Finnish shipbuilding ecosystem. The research and development topics focus on four areas, namely the cruise ship itself, the shipyard’s operations, ie shipbuilding, and the introduction of smart technologies and the open-minded professionals of the future.
“In the partnership network, we create an opportunity for thousands of Finnish experts to innovate and do something completely new,” added Ilkka Rytkölä, Meyer Turku Programme Director.
Tapani Pulli, Executive Vice President of Meyer Turku, explained hat the main goal of the NEcOLEAP programme is to accelerate the yard’s business to adapt to the green transition and meet the requirements of climate change, together with ecosystem partners.
“It also contributes to Business Finland’s goal of raising the share of 2.5% of product development to 4% of GDP,” Pulli said.
Meyer Turku aims to develop a climate neutral cruise ship concept by 2025 and for its shipbuilding process to be CO2 neutral by 2030.
NEcOLEAP’s cost is estimated at around €100 mill, of which Business Finland’s financial contribution to Meyer is €20 mill and the yard’s contribution is €30 mill. Business Finland has also set aside €50 mill for companies, research institutes and universities involved in the ecosystem.
It was claimed that many parties had already expressed an interest in joining the programme. NEcOLEAP’s involvement is well suited to projects at universities and research institutes. The research work and the results of the programme will also provide guidelines for future research and product development. As well as large companies, a number of SMEs and startups are expected to participate.
“The construction of a climate-neutral cruise ship requires extensive co-operation between companies and universities and research institutes, and a new way of operating. In the NEcOLEAP programme, we are exploring the possibility of introducing even more responsible technologies that will enable us to develop energy and resource efficiency, automation, robotics and cyber security in ships and shipbuilding, among other things.
“Meyer Turku already has a good partnership network, but now the co-operation network can be expanded to include completely new development areas that emphasise not only environmentally friendly energy solutions but also the potential of the circular economy and the resource efficiency of materials. The goal is to find the most inventive solutions and innovative technologies. The Meyer Turku co-operation network now includes about 1,350 partners, and the project is expected to grow to 1,500 partners.
“Only in this way can we stand out in the intensifying competition of the maritime industry and maintain our leading position in the global market,” Pulli concluded.