GMU Opens Centre for the Offshore Industry

On 29 February 2024, the Grand Opening of the Gdynia Maritime University Centre for the Offshore Industry took place in Gdańsk. With modern research laboratories, access to 500 m of the dock, and 200 workstations, the Centre is a highly significant investment project with a mission to create an 'Offshore Valley' in Poland. The official opening of the impressive research and education facility was therefore an important occasion for the University, but also for the country's entire offshore sector.

The day of the ceremony began with a sitting of the GMU Senate with the participation of notable guests: The Secretary of State in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Arkadiusz Marchewki, and the Rector of The Maritime University of Szczecin, Dr/Captain Wojciech Ślączki.

The ceremony was opened by HM The Rector of Gdynia Maritime University, Professor Adam Weintrit. After welcoming the guests in attendance from the worlds of science, politics, and business, the Rector addressed them with the following words:

I am extremely pleased that we are here today to celebrate together the Grand Opening of the Gdynia Maritime University Centre for the Offshore Industry, which I trust in the coming years will serve the common good by carrying out complex specialist research and development for the innovative maritime industry, both in Poland and abroad (...). Our ambition at Gdynia Maritime University is for the Centre for the Offshore Industry to become a root in the growth of a "Polish Offshore Valley!

The Rector also outlined the significance of the Centre for the development of the University.

The construction of the GMU Centre for the Offshore Industry is proof of the continuous development of Gdynia Maritime University as well as its enormous research potential. The new facility benefits from high-end accredited geotechnical, ecological, and electronics laboratories adapted to the needs of today's maritime industry.

Also taking to the floor was the Secretary of State and Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Arkadiusz Marchewka, who extended congratulations and gratitude on behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure to HM The Rector for undertaking the challenge of developing the innovative Centre for the Offshore Industry. In his speech, the Deputy Minister assured that:

The priority of the Ministry of Infrastructure is the further development of the potential of the University and the strengthening of its position as a renowned academic centre for the training of personnel, which will provide invaluable support for the Polish and global maritime industry.

The next speaker was the Marshal of the Pomerania Voivodeship, Mieczysław Struk, who highlighted the significance of the newly opened infrastructure for the offshore sector, both in the local region and the entire country.

It is my sincere wish that the Centre will enable students and scientists to make significant contributions to the development of science, but also practical solutions to the benefit of offshore wind energy as well as the entire economic system which is dependent on the offshore sector. (...) I am convinced that Gdynia Maritime University will meet the expectations of the Offshore community, but also the region and the country.

A speech was also given by the Major of Gdańsk, Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, who underlined the innovativeness of the offshore sector:

I believe that the sector is a vital cog in the development of the economy - one which also requires qualified personnel. In just a few weeks, for the second time, we will hold an education fair in Gdansk together with the local government of Pomerania and the Marshal. The event is aimed at young people from across the Pomerania region and will allow them to get to know the universities and companies working in the sector and explore career opportunities. I'm very much looking forward to seeing Pomerania fulfil its potential for innovative change!

Also speaking during the ceremony was Member of the Sejm Kacper Płażyński and the Chair of the Maritime Committee to the Sejm, who drew attention to the fact that the importance of the opening of the GMU Centre for the Offshore Industry:

It is not only a strategic decision of the University but (...) also the foundation of the maritime industry in respect of the offshore sector, which is without a doubt one of the main driving forces of the Polish economy and with certainty will continue to be in the future. (...) All of this needs personnel of the highest calibre; staff who are highly specialised and well-trained. I am very pleased that Gdynia Maritime University has made such an impressive contribution to the development of Poland.

The Director of the GMU Maritime Institute spoke of the benefit of the Institute's new headquarters:

The Centre contains the laboratories of departments of the GMU Maritime Institute, which until now were located throughout the Tricity. This will allow for the consolidation of our activities and current research.

The Pomeranian Governor, Beata Rutkiewicz, congratulated HM The Rector of GMU on the opening of the new Centre and gave assurances of the government's support for the University.

For my part, I can assure you openness, dialogue and support as I see my role as an extension of the government and a carrier of information to the ministry. You can count on me. My door is always open, and I welcome cooperation. But I am also counting on you. (...) Please accept my congratulations on the completion of this huge project. The Centre is a big step forward and, importantly, a positive use of EU funds. Thank you very much.

The culmination of the official part of the event took place at the entrance of the building, where the cutting of a red ribbon symbolising the official opening of the Centre was presided over by the University's authorities and representatives of national and local governments.

Guests were invited to visit some of the Centre's highly specialised laboratories. Many of those in attendance took the opportunity to see the modern apparatus, which will undoubtedly contribute to the development of science and a better understanding of the sustainable development needs of the maritime sector.

The almost 64 million PLN investment project began in 2021 and the building was granted a use permit in November 2023. On 15 June 2021, the University signed a contract with building contractor Budimex S.A. On 15th September, a topping-out ceremony was held at the site of the new building to mark reaching the highest point of the building. On the same day, GMU also signed an agreement with companies MEWO S.A. and PGE Baltica for the conduction of environmental tests for the Baltica 1 Offshore Wind Farm Project.

GMU has for years been a leader in the Polish offshore market in environmental, geophysical, geological and geotechnical research for maritime investments, especially in relation to wind power.

The investment project is co-financed by the Regional Operation Programme for the Pomeranian Voivodeship for 2014-2020, which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Providing entity: 

GMU/Gdynia Maritime University

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