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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency


Teaching Entrepreneurship Advancing the Maritime Sector

blue careers

In a time when technology and digitalisation are transforming the shipping industry and new trends and sectors emerge in the maritime field, seafarers need to be equipped with the right skills. The TEAMS project aims at innovating blue careers and filling the gap between industry and education. The project seeks to provide maritime professionals with the adequate education, helping them develop entrepreneurial skills and design thinking in projects.

The TEAMS project applies the Blueprint teaching methodology, based on the so-called Tiimiakatemia method, developed by the University of Applied Sciences in Jyväskylä (Finland), one of the partners of the project. It consists of learning-by-doing and team learning. Students are divided in teams of Teampreneurs with an inspiration to start a business and they use dialogue as a tool to share knowledge and think together.

Real-life cases from the professional field are the main teaching tool used and on which Teampreneurs can elaborate innovative ideas fit for the maritime sector. Such cases are generic or specific challenges encountered by maritime companies and can touch upon subjects as energy efficiency, zero emissions, reduction of ecological footprint. The project gathered the real-life cases on a downloadable digital case book to provide examples of problem-solving education.

Three European maritime schools participating in the project (the Hogere Zeevaartschool in Antwerp, Munster Technological Institute in Cork and STC Group in Rotterdam) will implement the TEAMS Blueprint training method in their curricula. Ten lecturers are trained to be TEAMS coaches and will train sixty students to become Teampreneurs. Curricula are also adapted to include important soft skills for maritime professionals. The three schools have worked on a gap analysis to identify relevant 21-century skills needing to be developed.

Focused on blue careers, the TEAMS project not only addresses the acceleration of innovation in the maritime sector but it also creates a structured, permanent cooperation framework between the maritime industry and education institutes. The schools, together with the trade association Netherlands Maritime Technology and the maritime start-up accelerator PortXL creating the links with industry, form a strong team introducing true entrepreneurship in maritime education.