UK’s Maritime Minister announces the creation of the UK National Clean Maritime Research Hub (UK-MaRes Hub) with the aim of encouraging decarbonisation and elimination of air pollution from maritime activity in ports and at sea. In addition, the Hub will also focus on the economic and social benefits of a clean maritime future.
Led by Durham University, the UK-MaRes Hub includes researchers from 13 universities, including Aston, Birmingham, Brighton, City, Cranfield, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, Solent, St Andrews and Ulster universities. In addition to research groups, the Hub will also connect over 70 industrial, civic, and international organisations as project partners, including shipping companies, ports, equipment and service providers, fuel producers, and civic bodies.
This consortium will carry out research in sustainable marine fuels, low-carbon propulsion systems for shipping, decarbonised port operations and infrastructure, and improved maritime operations and vessel efficiency, among others. “Our vision is to create a pioneering research hub providing technically, environmentally, socially, and economically informed ways to decarbonise the maritime sector. The UK-MaRes Hub will harness the depth, breadth, and diversity of research being undertaken in the UK to foster collaboration, drive forward innovation and transformation, and set a global benchmark for excellence in maritime research,” said Professor Tony Roskilly, Director of the UK-MaRes Hub, at Durham University, who has over 30 years’ experience in maritime related research.
The Hub will receive £7.4m from the UKRI-Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the UK Government’s Department for Transport and an additional £13.9m financial and in-kind match funding from consortium universities and project partners. “Investing in research and innovation is crucial to achieve the UK’s ambitious target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Domestic shipping emits more polluting gases than buses and rail combined. A maritime research hub will bring together world-leading expertise and support the sector to develop and commercialise clean maritime fuels and technologies,” said Professor Miles Padgett, Interim Executive Chair of EPSRC.
The new Hub is part of a new package to promote clean maritime measures in the UK. “With 95 percent of the UK’s trade happening by sea, the maritime sector is vital to our country’s economic output, but it’s also one of the biggest contributors to the UK’s emissions. That’s why it’s important that we focus on how decarbonising maritime can help grow the economy – today’s package helps create highly skilled jobs and supports the levelling up of our coastal communities,” said Transport Secretary Mark Harper.
“The UK maritime sector is a world leader in green shipping practices, but the journey towards a fully decarbonised sector by 2050 requires us to continue innovating, pushing forward, and building on that status. With the world’s mariners focusing on London this week, it’s fantastic to once again show how the UK continues to be a driving force in the industry through our new Clean Maritime Day package,” added Maritime Minister Baroness Vere.