In summer 2010 an old brick storehouse in the middle of the port of Simrishamn was renovated. In October of the same year the Marine Centre (Marint centrum) moved in, thereby realising the vision of a meeting place for entrepreneurship, knowledge and experiences linked to the marine environment of the Baltic Sea.
The preliminary study for the Marine Centre was completed in September 2009 and its establishment is being led by Simrishamn Municipality in cooperation with Region Skåne and Sparbanken Syd´s Foundation for Growth.
“The activities have been under way for some years and we have, for instance, held seminars and conferences and taken part in various projects and a range of research work. The new building will enable us to establish a permanent activity," says Madeleine Lundin, the project manager.
As the idea of a centre has evolved from a preliminary study via a project to an activity on the ground, a number of new jobs have been created. One example is the South Coast Fishing Area (Sydkustens Fiskeområde) with a newly appointed manager. Moreover, several research projects are under way or being planned.
In the project the Marine Centre is described as a kind of science park in the area of marine environment and innovation development that will act as an arena for research institutes, business, the public sector and organisations.
“Our centre will be a regional platform for marine technology, Bluetech, and act as a bridge-builder for the development and commercialisation of marine-related ideas and research results. Our geographical location along with international cooperation make us a node for marine environment issues in the southern Baltic Sea and a natural engine for growth in the region. Moreover, the Marine Centre strengthens Simrishamn/Österlen as a brand for new residents, businesses and visitors.
Even before the official opening of the building in October 2010 several marine actors have decided to move in and will have premises there.
“Over the next few years we will gradually build up a creative environment that attracts businesses, projects and applied research."
In April 2010 further funding was granted from the European Regional Development Fund for a three-year project intended to achieve just that.