Germany Furthers Support to WMU with Simulator Lab Refurbishment
On 2 October, President Doumbia-Henry welcomed Mr. Reinhard Klingen, Director-General Waterways and Shipping in the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure of Germany, for a visit to WMU accompanied by WMU Governor, Professor Peter Ehlers, WMU Executive Board Member, Professor Dirk Max Johns (German Shipowners), Dr. Axel Henriksen (Schlüter Foundation for Shipping and Environmental Protection), as well as Mr. Tino Hensel and Ms. Caroline Baumgärtner (Carnival Maritime).
The visit marked the official launch of the updated and refurbished WMU Maritime Risk and System Safety (MaRiSa) Simulator Laboratory in honour of the memory of Mr. Günther Zade, WMU Vice-Rector from 1983-2001. The updated laboratory was made possible thanks to a EUR 150,000 contribution from the Government of Germany. The gift included hardware, software and equipment upgrades, as well as an integrated interface connecting the Laboratory with the European Maritime Simulator Network. This interface enables the testing of Sea Traffic Management in complex traffic situations, as well as other functions.
President Doumbia-Henry stated: “We are extremely grateful to the Government of Germany for their ongoing support of WMU. This important contribution to the WMU Simulator Lab will enhance our maritime risk and safety related research. Our students will greatly benefit from these enhanced features. The honoring of Mr Zade when WMU celebrates its 35 years is timely as he played a key role in the early years of the university, helping to shape it and enabling to be the premier academic maritime institution it is today. We are pleased his memory is honored in this way.”
The WMU Simulator Lab supports the University’s capacity to undertake integrated training in maritime safety, security and contingency planning as well as to better coordinate research activities and promote synergies between interdisciplinary researchers, while strengthening WMU’s research capacity. The lab has supported several projects relating to the development of innovative 3D virtual maritime safety simulation platforms, integrated navigation and engine room systems to improve safety, search and rescue, crew-centred design and operations of ships and ship systems. WMU’s Simulation Laboratory was inaugurated in 2012 thanks to a substantial grant from the TK Foundation, the purchase of the equipment through the generosity of simulator manufacturers Rheinmetall Defence Electronics (RDE) GmbH and with enhancements from Kongsberg.
The visit was also an opportunity for Mr. Klingen and the delegation to meet with WMU students supported by fellowships from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure of Germany. They are currently funding five students in the Class of 2018 and five in the Class of 2019. Eight of the students are women.
During the afternoon of his visit, Mr. Klingen confirmed the interest of Germany to partner with the WMU-Sasakawa Ocean Institute. Germany has already donated EUR 100,000 to support the Ocean Institute.
The Federal Republic of Germany is one of the world's leading exporters and the most important transit country in the heart of Europe. With its infrastructure linking more than 700 million people, Germany benefits in particular from a meaningful, effective playing field that is based on uniform standards complemented by harmonization and uniformity in the interpretation and implementation of Conventions and Regulations.
Between 1990 and 2017, the Carl-Duisburg-Gesellschaft (CDG) funded 279 MSc Fellowships, the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) funded 5 Fellowships and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) funded 17 Fellowships. Mr. Kitack Lim, the first IMO Secretary-General and WMU Chancellor to be an Alumnus of the World Maritime University was funded by a CDG fellowship.
In addition to the generous fellowship support, the Federal Republic of Germany has also made a contribution of USD 66,000 to support the purchase of technical equipment for WMU’s e-learning lab in June 2016. In October 2016, as the Guest of Honour at the WMU graduation ceremony, Mr. Klingen announced a 1 million Euro contribution to the WMU Endowment Fund.