Minister announces investments to decarbonise maritime sector

Sunrise in busy shipping container terminal in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Two new investments will harness the UK’s research and innovation excellence to decarbonise the maritime sector.

The investments announced today are:

  • a £77 million Zero Emission Vessel and Infrastructure (ZEVI) competition
  • a £7.4 million flagship UK National Clean Maritime research hub

UK SHORE

The 2 investments are partnerships between UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Department for Transport (DfT) through the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE).

UK SHORE aims to transform the UK into a global leader in the design and manufacturing of clean maritime technologies.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:

When it comes to tackling climate change, we are taking action on all transport modes, which is why we’re making sure our world-leading maritime sector has a greener future.

This multi-million-pound investment will help the latest tech ideas become reality and ensure UK waters will play host to green cargo ships, ferries and cruises in the next few years.

Our funding will support a cleaner freight system, a more environmentally friendly tourism industry, and a net zero maritime sector.

Zero Emission Vessel and Infrastructure

The £77 million ZEVI competition, launched by DfT and delivered in partnership with UKRI’s Innovate UK, sits alongside the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition in the suite of UK SHORE initiatives.

It builds on the vision set out in DfT’s clean maritime plan, supporting this goal by funding long-term, real-world operational demonstrations of scalable clean maritime solutions.

UK National Clean Maritime research hub

The UK National Clean Maritime research hub will be delivered by UKRI’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

It will bring together an interdisciplinary consortium of leading UK research organisations to address low technology readiness level research challenges in clean maritime.

Priorities will include:

  • taking a systems approach to supporting the development and implementation of clean maritime solutions. The hub will address research challenges in low and zero-emission fuels, energy sources and vessel technologies for the maritime sector
  • land-side infrastructure required to enable the uptake of low and zero-emission fuels, energy sources and vessel technologies by the maritime sector
  • the role of energy efficiency solutions in facilitating the uptake of low and zero-emission fuels, energy sources and vessel technologies by the maritime sector

Catalysing research and innovation

EPSRC Executive Chair Professor Dame Lynn Gladden said:

Decarbonising the maritime sector is crucial to the government’s 2050 net zero target, with domestic shipping producing more greenhouse gas emissions than buses and rail combined.

The UK National Clean Maritime research hub will play an important role in achieving this goal, catalysing important research and innovation in low and zero-emission fuels, infrastructure and energy efficiency solutions.

Innovate UK Executive Director for Net Zero Mike Biddle said:

This latest £77 million investment in clean maritime innovation is another major milestone in the delivery of the wider UK SHORE programme to accelerate the transition to net zero.

Innovate UK will work closely with the Department for Transport in the delivery of the Zero Emission Vessel and Infrastructure competition, which will result in multi-year real world demonstrations of clean maritime technologies around the UK.

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