Passenger Ferry

Posted on: September 1, 2020

Project Lead: Artemis Technologies

Partners: Ards & North Down Borough Council, Belfast City Council, Belfast Harbour, Belfast Metropolitan College, Catalyst, Creative Composites, Energia, NIACE, Queen’s University Belfast, Spirit AeroSystems, and Ulster University.

Supported by: UK Research & Innovation, Strength in Places Fund

Duration: September 2020 – March 2024


Project Description

The Belfast Maritime Consortium ferry project, led by Artemis Technologies, aims to reinvigorate a strategically important maritime cluster in Belfast, through the research & development of transformative technologies that have the potential to change maritime transportation forever.

Belfast will become a global lead in zero-emissions maritime technology, just as the world is waking up to the need for urgent action to decarbonise the sector.
This project will fast track the proof of concept prototyping of the world’s first autonomously controlled ‘fully submerged’ electric hydrofoiling vessel, and develop the technical & operational requirements for a maritime Transport System of the future.

It represents a large-scale collaborative manufacturing project, that will provide a showcase of Belfast’s existing research excellence and high quality innovation capability; embedding working relationships between academia, industry and local government.

As a result, Belfast will possess a world class maritime design and build capability with a proven track record of converting innovative concepts to validated solutions, with a supply chain primed to support future commercialisation, leading to significant regional economic growth.
The project will not only create new commercial opportunities, but also help tackle major environmental challenges in line with wider government policy, which calls for all new vessels to be designed with zero-emissions capable technologies by 2025, as well as lay the foundations for future product development pathways by Consortium members, spin outs, and foreign direct investment in the region.


Key Objectives:

  • Develop an electric drive zero-emissions fully submerged autonomously controlled hydrofoiling vessel;
  • Undertake fundamental research into the materials, sensory capability and systems integration of hydrofoils and electric drivetrain sub-systems, to inform current and future prototyping, leveraging the Consortium’s current world leading intellectual property in these relevant fields;
  • Further develop the region’s existing marine, aerospace and automotive clusters to exploit the market opportunities arising;
  • Develop an education programme and route to skilled jobs for talent in some of the most socially deprived areas of the Belfast region;
  • Establish a water-taxi pilot scheme in the Belfast area, providing real time monitoring data and research into the development of the full-scale prototype, combined with informing policy and operational requirements for a maritime Transport System of the Future.
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