The UK government’s support for decarbonising the maritime sector has been given another boost, with £60 million in funding distributed to innovative companies nationwide developing futuristic green technology.
For the first time, the government is funding the development of new clean maritime technology across a two-year period. Companies in 12 regions around the UK will benefit from the cash, generating skilled jobs and positioning the UK as a leader in green solutions.
One beneficiary is Belfast-based Artemis Technologies, which is applying technologies adapted from high-performance yacht racing, motorsports and aerospace, to develop vessels that effectively ‘fly’ above the water surface. The vessels produce zero emissions when foiling and offer energy savings of up to 90% resulting in significantly lower operating and maintenance costs. Artemis Technologies will use the funding to help commercialise the invention.
UK Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Our maritime sector imports 95% of goods into the UK and contributes GBP 116bn to our economy – more than both aviation and rail combined. With growing the economy one of the government’s top priorities, we must continue our efforts to ensure the UK remains a pioneer in cutting-edge clean maritime solutions. The funding we’re awarding today will help to do just that, bringing emission-free concepts to life and fuelling innovation.”
The funding comes from the third round of the government’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC3), which focuses on developing a range of clean maritime technologies including hydrogen, ammonia, electric and wind power. During the two-year investment period, successful companies will be required to demonstrate that their projects will work in the real world, helping them to progress towards becoming an everyday reality.
Artemis Technologies CEO Dr Iain Percy said: “The clean maritime demonstration competition is key to unlocking those innovations across the region that will transport the UK towards a more sustainable future and we are thrilled that it has once again recognised the integral role Artemis Technologies can play. With this latest round of funding, we are emboldened to advance our green technology projects, develop world-leading clean vessels for our seas, and continue on our mission to lead the decarbonisation of maritime.”
Other winners include a project led by Collins River Enterprises to build and test a brand new fully electric ferry on the River Thames between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe, building on research funded through the first round of the CMDC. Another project led by AceOn Battery Solar Technology will develop hydrogen-powered vessels to transfer crew to wind farms off the northeast coast of England from the Port of Blyth. WingTek are receiving CMDC3 funding to develop and demonstrate two full-sized prototypes of wind-assisted ships with high tech sails, which will reduce the amount of fuel used by the vessels as well as the emissions they produce.
UK Chamber of Shipping CEO Sarah Treseder said: “Congratulations to all the successful bids, which cover a wide range of technologies and aspects of shipping. The UK Chamber of Shipping is committed to net zero by 2050. This funding is an important milestone in ensuring we continue to work together to achieve this important target and will help us complete the journey from theory to reality for zero emission shipping.”
The additional funding comes from the wider GBP 206m UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) scheme, announced in March 2022.