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The UK's and Finland's premier maritime clusters forge valuable international relationship to support business growth

20 May 2022

Developing mutually beneficial international business relationships was top of the agenda at the Maritime UK Solent (MUK Solent) network meeting today (19 May 2022) where the network was joined by a delegation from a significant Scandinavian Maritime Cluster, Turku in Finland.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) demonstrating how the two parties will collaborate, promote opportunities and connect maritime businesses and innovation assets was signed at the meeting at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton. The Finnish delegation and MUK Solent Network also had the opportunity to learn more about the NOC's world-leading expertise in ocean science.

Speaking about the visit, Michel Lemagnen BA DESEM MMRS, CEO and Co-Founder of MCJ Lemagnen Associates Ltd, based in Turku said:
"Developing international relationships with like-minded, progressive peer clusters around the world is one of the most productive ways of supporting cross-border opportunities for trade investment and innovation. Speaking as someone who has been working in international trade and investment for more than 30 years, I am delighted to see the enthusiasm with which Maritime UK Solent and Turku Business Region are grasping this opportunity and hope it is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship for both clusters”.

Stuart Baker, Managing Director at Maritime UK Solent, said:
"We have an ambition to champion the Solent's maritime businesses on the international stage - and secure the profile of the Solent as a globally leading maritime cluster. Opportunities such as hosting a business delegation from Turku are beneficial to our own maritime sector businesses, helping our maritime cluster forge new business relationships on the international stage.

"As part of sealing this new-found relationship, we jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which will help us to learn, develop and achieve our full potential. We will share information, experience, and skills to learn from each other, and jointly we will develop effective working practices, work collaboratively to identify solutions, eliminate duplication of effort, mitigate risk and reduce cost. Collaboration breads innovation, and we are delighted to cement this friendship with an ongoing commitment to work together."

The Finish delegation visiting the Solent region was made up of businesses from the Turku business region, a vibrant economic area comprising the City of Turku and 10 surrounding municipalities. The region has a population of around 330,000 and 22,000 businesses and five universities, and according to an international study in 2019, Turku is ranked as the seventh most innovative city in the world. Due to the decades-long legacy of applied ICT expertise, their companies’ production methods are recognised as among the most modern in the world.

MUK Solent has been established as a private sector industry-led body to promote a thriving maritime sector within the Solent, one of seven UK maritime clusters identified in Maritime 2050, the UK's strategy for the maritime sector. For maritime businesses wishing to find out more about Maritime UK Solent, click here

Turku Science Park Ltd is a non-profit business development company of the Turku Business Region, which works closely with all economic operators regionally, nationally, and internationally. Nearly a third of maritime industry companies in Finland are in the Turku Business Region. To find out more about the Turku business region in Finland, click here.

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