UK funding awarded for 11 marine technology projects

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Eleven projects to help promote technological innovation in UK Maritime have been awarded £1.5m as part of the Technology and Innovation in UK Maritime Call. The Maritime Research and Innovation UK (MarRI-UK) initiative supported by the Department for Transport (DfT), will help develop technological innovation that improves UK Maritime services and operations.

The Maritime sector is set to undergo significant changes as technology revolutionises the way it operates, and as environmental concerns create new and more demanding requirements for the industry. In January 2019 the government published Maritime 2050, a long-term vision for the future of the UK sector, which includes a commitment to strengthen maritime innovation and maximise the benefits from new maritime technology. From this, the Technology and Innovation in UK Maritime Route Map was developed. The Call was launched in September 2019, with organisations from across the UK able to apply for grants to develop mid TRL (TRL 3-7) technologies.

Out of 59 submissions, 11 were selected for funding by independent reviewers. Criteria included their strategic fit with Maritime 2050 and its Technology and Innovation Route Map, value for money, innovation and benefits to maritime operations and services.

Kelly Tolhurst, Maritime Minister, said, “Innovation and technological advancements are key to developing a more efficient and advanced maritime sector as we build a green legacy from Covid-19.

“Through our ambitious Maritime 2050 vision, this government continues to support creative and innovative solutions to enhance our maritime transport, and I look forward to seeing the results of these cutting edge projects.”

John Howie MBE, Chair of MarRI-UK, commented, “The 11 successful projects are great examples of UK technology and innovation, helping the UK maritime sector meet the challenges and goals set out in the Maritime 2050 vision.”

Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK, said, “Research and innovation will be a major driver of growth as we emerge from the Coronavirus crisis. Despite the crisis, the grand challenges of our age remain, and the UK maritime sector must redouble its efforts to gain competitive advantage across the industries of tomorrow. As we seek to build back better, this sector is uniquely positioned to deliver regionally balanced, green growth. Whilst meeting net-zero is our foremost challenge, we should not lose sight of the other opportunities that we face, including digitisation, automation, and efficiency. It is therefore fantastic to see so many credible solutions being successful in this second funding call. In what is a competitive global environment, the UK is making real waves. It is incumbent on both industry and government to ensure that these ideas are supported, and we increase the level of investment in research and innovation for the sector.”

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