The Belfast Maritime Consortium led by Artemis Technologies, has hosted a visit to the city by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP.
Representatives of the 13-partner syndicate met the minister to discuss their plans to develop zero emissions ferries in Belfast that will revolutionise the future of maritime transport.
The project recently won a £33 million Strength in Places Fund grant from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a BEIS funded body.
Iain Percy OBE, CEO of Artemis Technologies, a spin-off from competitive sailing team Artemis Racing, said:
“It was a pleasure to host the Secretary of State in Belfast to showcase our plans to make the city, and the UK, the global lead in zero emissions maritime technology.
“Along with our consortium partners, we took the opportunity to provide a detailed brief to the Minister on our plans to foster a newly resurgent maritime cluster in Northern Ireland that could create hundreds of jobs over the coming years.
“No matter who we meet, the excitement when we talk about combining Belfast’s shipbuilding heritage with its incredible talent in aerospace and composite engineering, and world class R&D capabilities, is clear to see.
“Thanks to the support of BEIS and UKRI through the Strength in Places Fund, and with the assistance of our partners in industry, academia and the public sector, we can harness that potential and change the face of waterborne transport forever.”
During the visit, the Secretary of State met with members of the Belfast Maritime Consortium at Belfast Harbour, before previewing new exhibition space at the W5 interactive science museum featuring Artemis Racing’s America’s Cup high-speed yacht, and touring the Northern Ireland Advanced Composites and Engineering (NIACE) Centre, which will host part of the consortium’s R&D programme.
The Belfast Maritime Consortium project, which is being backed by close to £60m of investment over the next four years, including contributions from consortium partners will create an initial 125 research and development jobs leading to more than 1,000 in the region over the decade.
The Belfast consortium brings together a range of established and young firms, academia and public bodies, including: Belfast Harbour, Bombardier Belfast, Northern Ireland Advanced Composites Engineering (NIACE), Creative Composites, Energia, Catalyst, Invest Northern Ireland, Ulster University, Belfast Met, Queen’s University, Belfast, Ards and North Down Borough Council, and Belfast City Council.