News from Europe

03 June 2020

Realising Zero-Emission Waterborne Transport to the Benefit of Future Generations

A partnership comprising key players within the European waterborne transport sector, working together within the Waterborne Technology Platform, propose a new Research and Innovation Partnership which over a period of seven years will implement R&I which will by 2030 demonstrate the feasibility of zero-emission waterborne transport applicable for all main services and ship types.

The candidate Horizon Europe Partnership “Zero-Emission Waterborne Transport proposal was published by the European Commission on 27 May 2020 and represents an important achievement. During the summer, a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) will be developed to deliver this ambition. Wide involvement is encouraged and drafts will be published on the Waterborne website and wide comments and suggestions will be welcome.

The partnership is strongly aligned with the EU’s Green Deal strategy and will contribute to maintaining and reinforcing Europe’s global leadership in innovative, green waterborne transport solutions. The Partnership’s central objective is to provide and demonstrate zero-emission solutions for all main ship types and services before 2030, which will enable zero-emission waterborne transport before 2050.

The Proposal lays down the challenge, scope, objectives, commitments and expected impact of the Partnership, which is essential to realise zero-emission waterborne transport.

In a first reaction, the Chairman of the Waterborne Technology Platform, Henk Prins, said,

 “The Partnership will be essential to realise zero-emission waterborne transport to the benefit of future generations. The Partnership will deliver solutions for transport of cargo as well as passengers, at sea and oceans as well as on inland waterways. It will focus on both solutions for new build vessels as well as solutions to retrofit the existing fleet. Furthermore, the Partnership will develop solutions which will facilitate the envisaged modal shift of cargo from road to waterborne transport. Europe has all assets to play a leading role in the transition towards zero-emission waterborne transport, by joining efforts and ensuring a coordination approach. As a next step, a SRIA will be developed, which will be based on the objectives defined in the Proposal. The Waterborne Technology Platform is eager to start the Partnership on 1 January 2021, although the formal decision will be depending on the outcomes of the MFF negotiations”.