Maritime and marine sector receives £3m boost

Posted on 8 Jan 2014 by The Manufacturer

Businesses developing innovative solutions to reduce emissions in naval, leisure and merchant marine vessels while improving overall efficiency are to get a £3 million boost from the UK’s innovation agency.

At the London boat show yesterday, business and energy minister Michael Fallon announced the opening of a new collaborative R&D competition run by the Technology Strategy Board aimed at businesses in the £19 billion UK maritime and marine sector.

Mr Fallon said: “The marine industry is of vital importance to the UK economy, contributing around £19 billion each year, and employing 367,000 people. We want to encourage the very best in creativity and innovation within the industry in order to ensure its long term success and global competitiveness.”

Technology Strategy Board chief executive Iain Gray said: “There is huge appetite among UK companies in the maritime and marine sector to deliver innovation, particularly in achieving more low carbon and efficient systems. The number and quality of proposals submitted last year was excellent and we look forward to receiving a positive response to this new competition.”

The Vessel Efficiency II: better systems at sea competition opened yesterday and follows the first marine-specific collaborative R&D competition launched at last year’s London Boat Show that attracted total funding requests in excess of three times the available £7 million budget.

Successful projects included pioneering propulsion technology, emissions reduction systems and innovative vessel routing systems.

The aim of both competitions is to build collaboration across the marine and maritime sector, strengthen supply chains and create opportunities for smaller businesses.