University part of new £21.3m UK Maritime Research Hub

The University of Liverpool is part of a new £21.3m national research partnership to decarbonise the UK maritime sector, led by Durham University.

The UK National Clean Maritime Research Hub (UK-MaRes Hub) was announced by the UK’s Maritime Minister, Baroness Vere of Norbiton, during London International Shipping Week on 14/9/2023. The hub aims to accelerate the decarbonisation and elimination of air pollution from maritime activity in ports and at sea.

The Hub will carry out innovative research in several themes including sustainable marine fuels and their safe use, low-carbon power and propulsion systems for shipping, decarbonised port operations and infrastructure, improved maritime operations and vessel efficiency. Professor Dongping Song at the University of Liverpool Management School and the Centre for Supply Chain Research will lead the "Port operations and infrastructure” theme of the project.

The UK-MaRes Hub is a consortium of 13 universities led by Durham and including researchers from Aston, Birmingham, Brighton, City, Cranfield, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, Solent, St Andrews and Ulster universities. It also brings together over 70 industrial, civic and international organisations as project partners, including shipping companies, ports, equipment and service providers, fuel producers and civic bodies.

Welcoming the announcement, Professor Dongping Song at the University of Liverpool Management School said: "University of Liverpool is delighted to be announced as part of this multidisciplinary consortium. Collaborating with our partners, the University of Liverpool will contribute our expertise in maritime transport, port operations, logistics and supply chain, digitalisation to creating a cleaner maritime environment. In particular, supported by Peel Ports Group, the Hub will take the port of Liverpool as place-based scenario to showcase maritime decarbonisation."

Professor Tony Roskilly, Director of the UK-MaRes Hub at Durham University said:

"Our vision is to create a pioneering research hub providing technically, environmentally, socially and economically informed ways to decarbonise the maritime sector. The UK-MaRes Hub will harness the depth, breadth and diversity of research being undertaken in the UK to foster collaboration, drive forward innovation and transformation, and set a global benchmark for excellence in maritime research."

Professor Miles Padgett, Interim Executive Chair of EPSRC, added:"Investing in research and innovation is crucial to achieve the UK’s ambitious target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Domestic shipping emits more polluting gases than buses and rail combined. A maritime research hub will bring together world-leading expertise and support the sector to develop and commercialise clean maritime fuels and technologies."