Maritime industry sailing towards Net Zero

Posted on: 25/05/2022

An event report from the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Showcase at the Portsmouth International Port.

Over 300 delegates from the maritime industry met at the Portsmouth International Port on Tuesday 24th May to celebrate the success of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC), delivered by Innovate UK. The £23m competition from the Department for Transport has so far funded 55 companies to design and develop innovative technologies to support the transition towards a cleaner maritime future with projects being completed in just seven months.

Delivering the keynote address, the Maritime Minister, Robert Courts, said the government was committed to a long-term strategy to decarbonise maritime, build green shipping corridors and promote shipbuilding skills. He announced continuation funding to the CMDC with a £12 million round of funding for feasibility studies and the development of novel technologies.

Courts commented: “As a nation, we have a long, broad history of maritime innovation, and as we look to decarbonise the sector, it’s essential that we build on the technology, the expertise, and the competitive advantage that the UK has long enjoyed. I’d like to give my special thanks to the engineers, innovators, and investors who took part in this competition and made it a success.”

The event, organised by Innovate UK KTN, saw 43 exhibitors showcase their innovations including MJR Power & Automation, who have developed an electric charging system that can be installed directly onto an offshore wind turbine, meaning electric and hybrid electric vessels can power up from the turbine itself, increasing their range and saving them trips back to land. Debbie Rollins, Manager of Projects at MJR, was encouraged by the funding announcement. “It’s really good because it enables us to go into commercialisation”.

James Lovett, Innovation Lead at Innovate UK, presented an overview of the success of CMDC to date. He said preliminary results indicated a saving of 178,000 kilotons of CO2, the equivalent of removing 280,000 cars from the roads.

Jamie Grant, Director of Commercialisation at RAB-Microfluidics, one of the exhibitors, commented: “It has been great to see what good health the UK’s maritime industry is in. There has been so much innovation on show and this is only set to grow with the government’s announcement of more funding to get the industry even closer to Net Zero”.

Adding to this, Paul Wilson, Systems Engineer at Connected Places Catapult, said: “The event has been an incredible success. So many brilliant ideas have been showcased, it is clear that the industry is driving forward with serious momentum when it comes to decarbonisation.”

Rachel Connor, Global Marine Marketing Director, commented: “The CMDC has been a great opportunity for so many maritime sector organisations to come together. I was really impressed to see the level of practical innovation going on for both ship and port environments. The event has seen the industry make real progress towards the adoption of cleaner systems.”

Matt Moss, Maritime Lead, KTN, concludes: “The showcase has really put a spotlight on how we are helping to accelerate maritime decarbonisation. It has been a real meeting of minds with key players from business, government, professional institutions, research organisations and academia in attendance. We are proud to be such a big part of the maritime industry’s journey to Net Zero.”

Open to all stakeholders across the maritime sector and supporting industries, the next CMDC event will be held in Liverpool, and online, on Thursday 9th June.

Register here.

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