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Hellenic Institute of Marine Technology

Annual Meeting of Marine Technology –  27-28 November 2012, Athens

From the dawn of history members of tribes and societies worked together in hunting and gathering, agriculture, exploration, conquest and defence. The advent of industry saw the development of combinations with both vertical and horizontal dimensions, mainly with economic criteria as well as geographic and national parameters. Within this framework we have a recent development in the concept of the Cluster in the studies of Harvard’s Professor Porter in the 1990s.

The Cluster concept was incorporated into European politics, academy and industry in the sphere of Maritime Clusters and to a relatively higher degree by comparison to other areas of the economy. The European Union recognise the value of Clusters and gives them priority in the strategy of progress and innovation.

Maritime Clusters were established in 2006 and onward. The Cluster Maritime Francais was founded by the French Institute of the Sea and is an organisation which promotes the French Maritime Industry in their professional and commercial activities and determines their collaboration. There are 14 National Maritime Clusters in the European Union, including the United Kingdom’s Sea Vision, which includes Shipping, Legals, Technicals, Banks, Insurance, P & I Clubs, Adjusters, Academy etc. Each country and society adjusts according to their geographic position, their resources, their needs and their capabilities.

The Greek Maritime Cluster of Piraeus is not in the European List, in spite of the fact that Greek Shipping is the first in merchant ship tonnage worldwide and Piraeus is a major maritime centre. This paper describes the historical creation and evolution of Greek Shipping and the parallel development of the Greek Maritime Cluster of Piraeus within the framework of the international nature and form of a most successful enterprise and describes their present shape and future expectations.