Maritime UK Solent, the regional sector-based cluster and employer representative body, celebrated its official launch today as a limited company (Thursday 16 September 2021) during London International Shipping Week and Maritime UK’s Coastal Powerhouse Day.
Anne-Marie Mountifield, MUK Solent Chair, Board Member on the National Council of Maritime UK, and Chief Executive for the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), explained: “The Solent’s maritime cluster – a powerful £5.8bn economy responsible for 20% of our region’s economic output – is key to our future prosperity and to levelling up our important coastal communities. Rich in maritime history, the Solent has long been the nation’s global gateway and is ideally placed to maximise international trade opportunities and the green revolution of maritime.
“We’ve established Maritime UK Solent to promote and represent this world-class maritime cluster on an international stage to encourage investment, drive innovation, pioneer clean and green technology in the industry, and develop a talent base for future generations to thrive.”
Maritime UK Solent has been operating throughout the pandemic to ensure the Solent’s array of maritime assets are harnessed and promoted, and that the area continues to be at the forefront of pioneering developments. It convenes the area’s key maritime stakeholders to champion the Solent as a leading maritime cluster and helps shape the future direction of the sector.
Anne-Marie continued: “The Solent’s maritime sector is a catalyst for economic recovery, and we’ve set out a clear path in our Maritime Economic Recovery Plan which looks towards new opportunities, charting a course to success for the regional maritime sector, showcasing the Solent’s position as a global maritime hub and supporting the UK’s ambitions for global trade and green growth.
“I’m delighted to see our hard work behind the scenes coming together to benefit our region’s maritime sector and coastal communities. Over the past year, we’ve established a strong network of people at the forefront of the Solent’s maritime cluster and I’m delighted to hear the Government’s announcement today that many collaborations working in the Solent maritime sector have been successful in bids to the Clean Maritime Demonstrator Competition for significant investment into green technology projects.
“Earlier this week, we launched the Solent Maritime Innovation Gateway – the result of a pioneering partnership with the Solent Maritime Enterprise Zone and Connected Places Catapult. This will create a single point of access and an enterprise approach which promotes the unique strengths of the Solent’s maritime industries on a global stage.
“We also recently convened an event with Maritime UK which brought together local MPs with key industry figures to highlight how the Solent’s maritime cluster is supporting the delivery of the Government’s Ten Point Plan for A Green Industrial Revolution and explored how politicians, research and industry can work together to share expertise and deliver ambitions to ensure the maritime sector achieves net zero.”
Maritime UK Solent
Maritime UK supports a number of regional cluster organisations around the country, including Maritime UK Solent which covers the Solent region.
This area boasts 340 miles of coastline, three islands, three peninsulas, three major international gateway ports, an emerging freeport, world-leading training institutions and a rich maritime heritage. All of this drives a powerful £5.8bn maritime economy, making the Solent the beating heart of the world’s marine and maritime sector.
Maritime UK Solent is the regional sector-based cluster and employer representative body, working with Maritime UK nationally to bring together the Solent region’s maritime strengths and assets to champion and promote the region as a globally significant maritime cluster. Backed by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, it aims to help its members to develop international links to grow their businesses and provide them a direct route to Government with the help of Maritime UK.
Clean Maritime Demonstrator Competition
The Rt Hons Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport, announced the successful projects in the Government’s £20million Clean Maritime Demonstrator Competition today (Thursday 16 September 2021), representing significant investment into a number of green technology projects led by the Solent’s maritime cluster.
The competition was launched by the Department for Transport in partnership with Innovate UK earlier this year to encourage innovative clean maritime and smart shipping projects in support of the transition to Net Zero. Successful projects led by organisations in the Solent region include:
- Green Hydrogen: The SHAPE UK project, led by the University of Portsmouth to install a “Green Hydrogen” generation and storage system within the Port of Portsmouth, bringing together a wide range of expertise from industry and academia – Portsmouth International Port, Lloyd’s Register, five SMEs (Engas, IOTICS, B4T, KnowNow, and COX), the Universities of Portsmouth and Brighton, and the Connected Places Catapult.
- Fuel Cell Technologies: funding for a feasibility project developed by Ocean Infinity together with the Universities of Southampton and Oxford, SME Oxgrin and industry major Shell Shipping to demonstrate at scale the powering of coastal shipping using fuel cell technologies.
- Cell-battery hybrid systems: funding for a feasibility project led by Carnival which brings together fuel cell expertise from Ceres Power with Lloyds Register, Shell Shipping and the University of Southampton too explore the potential of fuel cell-battery hybrid systems to support major cruise ships, significantly reducing CO2 emissions and other pollutants at sea and in port
More information at: https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/888/overview
Solent Maritime Innovation Gateway
The Solent Maritime Innovation Gateway (Solent MIG) has been designed to act as a catalyst for transforming the Solent Maritime region, and co-ordinate the business ecosystem by connecting and interacting regionally, nationally and internationally with investors and innovators.
More information at: https://solentlep.org.uk/solent-maritime-innovation-gateway/