MATES Gaining Momentum in the Maritime Community

June 19th 2018

MATES, an Erasmus+ funded European project, is part of a European drive called the New Skills Agenda, aimed at reducing the mismatch between the skills people are taught and the skills required to meet the needs of rapidly changing labour markets. The ‘Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills’ is just one of the ten actions in the New Skills Agenda and is a new framework for strategic cooperation in a given economic sector between key stakeholders; a key focus area of MATES.

MATES, which more specifically addresses skill shortages in the offshore renewable energy sector and the ship building sector, is gaining momentum with five stakeholder workshops completed across Greece, Portugal, the Netherlands, the UK and Spain. Project partners from CETMAR, ASIME, AQUATERA, and INDIGO Med also held a workshop at the European Maritime Day (EMD) conference on 1 June in Burgas, Bulgaria.

Workshop Moderator Rosa Fernández Otero, CETMAR, said “EMD provided MATES with an important opportunity to engage with key stakeholders from Europe’s maritime community and in particular, with professionals from the Black Sea region. The workshop focused on discussions around the identification of technological challenges and training needs within the sectors, on the stakeholders’ perception of these sectors and on the opportunities which can be gained from Ocean Literacy activities to improve the sectors’ image. The discussions facilitated the understanding of the situation and main trends in the Black Sea region. The findings, from all of the workshops which have taken place, will feed into a long-term strategy which will be developed by MATES for the offshore renewable energy and shipbuilding sectors.”

MATES partners have also been actively disseminating the project’s activities, with presentations made at FP Innova Exhibition in Santiago de Compostela, Spain on 25 April (available to watch here), and during NAVALIA, the International Shipbuilding Exhibition in Vigo, Spain on 24 May.

The MATES consortium will produce several resources during the projects lifetime. One of these, the ‘Who is who’ directory of experts, will be launched soon. Further information on the project and activities will be available soon at:

Workshop Moderator Rosa Fernández Otero (CETMAR) presenting at EMD on 1 June in Burgas, Bulgaria with MATES partners (R-L): Lucía Fraga Lago (CETMAR), Pablo Fidalgo González (ASIME), Gaynor Jones (Aquatera) and Martha Papathanassiou (INDIGO Med)

Notes for Editors
The MATES Project is co-funded under the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport. It runs for seven years, from 2014 to 2020. Erasmus+ aims to modernise education, training and youth work across Europe. It is open to education, training, youth and sport organisations across all sectors of lifelong learning, including school education, further and higher education, adult education and the youth sector.

The MATES project will run from 2018-2021 with an overall budget of €4.9 million. “MATES - Maritime Alliance for fostering the European Blue economy through a Marine Technology Skilling Strategy”.

MATES is coordinated by the Centro Tecnológico del Mar - Fundación CETMAR. The main objectives of Fundación CETMAR is to promote cooperation among institutions, research centers and the maritime and fishery sectors, encourage the involvement of dependent sectors of the sea in research and development, and promote the efficiency of all activities related to the use and exploitation of the marine environment. More information is available at The Project Coordinator is Lucia Fraga Lago (

For press queries, please contact: Olivia Daly, AquaTT (