European partnership aims to make zero-emission river transport a reality before 2050
The European Commission and the Waterborne Technology Platform have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a co-programmed partnership under Horizon Europe aimed at making zero-emission maritime transport a reality over the next 30 years.
The partnership aims to lead and accelerate the transformation of water transport (maritime transport and inland navigation) to eliminate all emissions harmful to the environment (including greenhouse gases, air and water pollutants) thanks to innovative technologies and operation.
By 2030, the goal is to develop and demonstrate deployable zero-emission solutions applicable to all major types of ships and services, to enable the achievement of zero-emission waterborne transport by 2050.
The European Commission will invest up to 530 million euros to finance actions within the framework of the co-programmed European partnership. Private sector partners are also expected to invest up to € 3.3 billion by 2030 in research, innovation and other priorities towards the goals of the partnership.
Speaking after the ceremony in Brussels yesterday (Wednesday 23 June) organized as part of the European Research and Innovation Days, the President of the Waterborne Technology Platform, Henk Prins said: “Today is a moment unique for the European water transport sector, which is a strategically important sector for the EU. The partnership will not only promote and accelerate the transition to an environmentally friendly mode of transport, in line with the ambitions of the European Green Deal, but it will also stimulate the green recovery of the water sector.
“The partnership uniquely brings together all relevant stakeholders in the water transport sector, who join forces to provide innovative solutions for the benefit of future generations. We look forward to applications for the first round of calls for proposals, as well as mapping the state of play and monitoring progress towards achieving our goals.
The Waterborne Technology Platform was created as an industry-oriented platform to establish an ongoing dialogue between all water stakeholders, such as classification societies, shipbuilders, shipowners, boat manufacturers. ‘maritime equipment, providers of infrastructure and services, universities or research institutes, and with EU institutions, including Member States.
It comprises members and associate members from maritime and inland navigation countries, representing around 18 EU member states. In addition, the member associations of the Waterborne Technology Platform represent the broader water sector across the EU.