The competitive advantage of the EU in the maritime industry sector has to be sustained and depends mainly on the sector's performance, its flexibility and continuation of competitiveness. In this regard, shipbuilding is an important and strategic industry in a number of EU member states and for the European Community as a whole.
RTD investment for boosting the sector is needed and has to focus on the development of critical and dynamic technologies both for products and production processes, helping the maritime industry compete successfully in global markets and benefit from the exploitation of the so called "motorways of the sea".
The STARNETregio project has been conceived to increase the overall capacity of regional players in the regions Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy), Slovenia and the County of Rijeka (Croatia) to invest in RTD and carry out research activities concerning the marine industry, in specific the shipbuilding and port equipments, intended to strengthen and develop the sector's scientific and technological basis and ultimately the economic growth of the regions.
This endeavour will be achieved by encouraging and supporting within the regions, based on the triple helix model, the performance of "regional research-driven clusters", associating universities and research centres (RTD), enterprises (industry cluster) and public regional authorities (PA), and enhance coordination and cooperation among these regions.
The project will be implemented during a 30 months period in four main consecutive and complementary phases: 1) Establishment of the institutional cluster framework and thorough mapping of regional development plans and RTD key actors; 2) Cross-regional analysis of regional development plans and RTD actors, aiming at setting the basis for a future trans-national collaborative research environment; 3) Knowledge transfer through mutual learning processes and mentoring activities; 4) Development of a joint Action Plan for improving the integration process.