- Belfast Maritime Consortium is the recent recipient of £33 million of UK Research and Innovation funding through the Strength in Places Fund to build zero emissions ferries.
- The transformative Artemis eFoiler, an electric hydrofoil propulsion system, is totally unique and enables vessels to operate with up to 90% less energy at high-speed, and produce zero emissions during operation.
- Led by Artemis Technologies, the Belfast Maritime Consortium is a 13-partner syndicate of businesses, academia and local government, that has invested £27m alongside government to deliver the net-zero project.
- This new membership sees Maritime UK’s regional cluster programme move into Northern Ireland.
The Belfast Maritime Consortium has joined Maritime UK, the umbrella body and collective voice for the UK’s £46.1bn maritime sector.
At its meeting on 29 July 2020, the National Council unanimously approved an application for membership from the new grouping of businesses in Northern Ireland which has been brought together by Artemis Technologies to encompass industry, academia and local government. The organisation will engage fully with Maritime UK’s work programme, including being supported in developing the regional cluster through Maritime UK’s Regional Cluster Development Programme.
The move follows a growing number of regional clusters joining Maritime UK, with established members Mersey Maritime, Maritime UK Solent and Maritime UK South West adding to the expanding and distinctive regional voice within the sector’s national umbrella body.
Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Belfast Maritime Consortium into membership. Our members were impressed and enthused to receive a presentation from Iain Percy of Artemis Technologies at its National Council meeting last week and to see for itself the world-leading and innovative work they are engaged with to deliver zero carbon emissions ferries. Their membership increases the depth and capacity of our organisation and we very much look forward to working with them in the years ahead. Our job is to bring together national trade bodies with regional cluster organisations and partners focused on delivery. There could be no better demonstration of our commitment to tackling the challenge of climate change within the sector than by bringing such a significant new grouping of businesses aboard.”
Iain Percy, Chief Executive Officer of Artemis Technologies Ltd, said: “As the lead organisation within the Belfast Maritime Consortium, which recently secured a £33 million UK Government innovation grant, announced in June, joining Maritime UK is an important next step in developing our new advanced maritime cluster. Together with investment from within the consortium, the grant allows us to embark on a £60 million project that will see an initial 125 research and development jobs created, leading to more than 1,000 in the region over the next 10 years. This work is fully aligned with the priorities of Maritime UK and will be enhanced by their ability to champion the sector further at the heart of government.
“We believe a maritime revolution is coming which will herald a new wave of zero-emissions vessels designed to meet the global carbon challenge and see Belfast once again take the lead in the development and construction of the most advanced ships on the planet. We are incredibly excited to be part of that revolution and to work alongside Maritime UK to maximise the opportunity this represents.”
Ben Murray, Director of Maritime UK, said: “Belfast has a rich shipbuilding heritage and access to Northern Ireland’s talented workforce in advanced manufacturing. Belfast Maritime Consortium’s membership of Maritime UK will further deepen our activity across the United Kingdom and give us access to a cluster organisation right at the cutting-edge of new innovation. This work is precisely what Maritime UK seeks to champion and enable. I’m looking forward to having Northern Ireland join our Regional Council, and to the collaborations that will follow.”
Arlene Foster MLA, First Minister of Northern Ireland, said: “We are all proud of Belfast’s maritime and shipbuilding heritage. However, it is even more exciting to look towards a future which can see Northern Ireland once again leading the way with world-class manufacturing and cutting-edge technology. I pay tribute to all those involved in the project which demonstrates so clearly the benefits of collaboration between business, academia and government at all levels. This investment can support economic growth locally, but its impact could be felt globally through solutions to more sustainable transport. I’m delighted to see the consortium joining Maritime UK and ensuring that the efforts to enable a thriving maritime sector are truly nationwide.”
UK Research and Innovation funding through the Strength in Places Fund brings researchers, industry and local leadership together to back some of the country’s most promising R&D projects by giving them the investment to take off and thrive. The funding is specifically targeted at a regional level to help foster local research and innovation ecosystems that can support sustained growth. The Artemis Technologies-led bid recognised the local strengths of the maritime sector in Belfast and linked in with wider local economic plans. It represents the single most significant allocation of funding in the maritime sector in recent memory.
Maritime UK’s national priorities are: people, competitiveness, regional growth, environment and innovation.
More about the work of Artemis Technologies available here: https://www.artemistechnologies.co.uk/