Aalto University: New European partnership commits the waterborne transport sector to zero emissions by 2050

The Horizon Europe Cooperation Agreement seeks zero-emission solutions for all major ship types and services by 2030. This will enable zero-emission water transport before 2050.

A partnership agreement between the European Commission and the Waterborne Technology Community will be signed at the European Research and Innovation Days on 23 June 2021. The agreement promotes the sustainable development of waterborne transport.

‘This is a completely new type of cooperation in the field of water transport in Europe. Up to several hundred million investments can be expected in the development of zero-emission shipping and related technologies, so it is important that Aalto University is involved in developing research,’ says Pentti Kujala, Professor of Marine Technology.

‘Our keen interest to get involved with forthcoming initiatives under this new partnership reflects the commitment of Aalto University to education and research that meet UN Sustainable Development Goals. It also demonstrates the long term commitment of our Maritime Technology Group to deliver excellent research as well as serve the educational and societal needs of future generations’, says Spyros Hirdaris, Associate professor of Marine Technology.

The ability of society and industry to address global challenges and meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the COP21 objectives will determine the world of tomorrow and the life of future generations. Waterborne transport, logistics and the blue economy are key for Europe to achieve the environmental, transport, energy, societal agendas.

In order to implement the EU’s ambitious vision towards 2030 and beyond the Waterborne community in Europe is committed to make significant investments in research, development and innovation (RDI) as well as in education and training in the entire supply chain. The Waterborne Technology Platform, bringing together all waterborne stakeholders: shipbuilders, shipowners (both maritime and inland navigation), maritime equipment manufacturers, ports, logistics, service providers, classification societies, universities or research institutes has developed a Strategic Research Agenda, which establishes the goals and priorities on research to achieve a smart, sustainable, safe and clean waterborne Europe.

The objective of this event will be presenting the content of the Strategic Research Agenda and discussing with policy makers and other stakeholders about the needs and importance of the Waterborne community regarding research and development.

Partnership strengthens international competitiveness of European waterborne transport sector
Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants from water requires new solutions and joint approach. The partnership agreement helps to coordinate initiatives, avoid duplication and produce results more quickly. By doing so, it will strengthen the competitiveness of European industry in the growing market for eco-ships, which is currently dominated by European competitors.

The partnership agreement brings together majority of the European waterborne transport sector, including the European maritime technology sector (shipyards and marine equipment manufacturers), most of the container transport capacity worldwide, European research organizations, universities as well as the inland navigation sector and associations representing the broader waterborne transport sector.

‘The members of the Waterborne Technology Platform have been preparing for this important and unique opportunity for the sector over the past couple of years. We have established a close cooperation with both the EU institutions and Member States from the outset. This clearly shows the commitment of the entire waterborne transport sector and its stakeholders, to deliver solutions for societal challenges,’ says Henk Prins, President of the Waterborne Technology Platform.

The WATERBORNE Technology Platform has been set up as a common platform for dialogue between industry players. It includes EU classification societies, shipbuilders, shipowners, marine equipment manufacturers, infrastructure and service providers, universities and research institutes from a total of 18 Member States.

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