With the increasing importance of the European Technology Platforms, Research Clusters and Framework Programmes, a need was felt to increase the role of Maritime Applied Research Organisations in the discussions with the European Commission. This led to the creation of the ECMAR association in 2007.
The ECMAR organisations in this field are working in the area between the fundamental research at universities and the direct application by industry; they have a broad view over the research and innovation policies. This implies that an association for Applied Maritime Research distinguishes itself from the existing ones like SeaEurope (formerly CESA and EMEC), WEGEMT or EARTO and would be an effective and complementary addition to existing bodies.
More emphasis in formulating research and innovation strategies has undoubtedly been a growing need for the European maritime sector, together with improved support services for technology transfer. This is achieved through clusters and networks with good cooperation and knowledge transfer between research organisations and industry.
The ECMAR Association can differentiate itself, and offer added value to that already offered by other associations, by developing strategies from trends in research and innovation, from a broad overview of the research area and from the knowledge of both the available technologies and market demands.
The mission of ECMAR Association is to contribute to a common Strategic Plan for Research and Development in the European Maritime Sector that will contribute to defining content and priorities of National and European Union research programmes. The Strategic Plan will be addressed to the Member States, European Union institutions and the European Maritime Industry. For its part, ECMAR has develops its own Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) which draws upon the combined knowledge, experience and involvement of its members.