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Momentum for increased cooperation in European shipping

09 February 2022

The foundation has been laid, now there is a momentum to continue the cooperation between all public and private waterborne transport stakeholders towards a sustainable European shipping. This was stated by Åsa Burman, Vice-chair of the Board of Directors, Waterborne, when seven years of maritime research, development and innovation in Horizon 2020 were summed up at a workshop that attracted almost 500 participants.

Almost 90% of everything around us is moved by waterborne transport and the European waterborne transport sector is responsible for approximately 4.2 million direct jobs in the EU. Well aware of the strategic importance of the sector, the European Union has therefore invested in research, development and innovation towards smart, green and integrated waterborne transport. Within the framework of the EU's Horizon 2020 programme, more than 70 projects were implemented during the years 2014 -2020. This according to a press release from Waterborne.

The key results from a number of projects, as well as concrete examples of implementation of the innovative solutions developed, were presented during the workshop.

Dirk Beckers, Director of the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) said:
“The project results presented today testify to the joint efforts made by the European Union and the European waterborne transport sector in developing concrete solutions for carbon-neutral, zero-accidents, automated and competitive waterborne transport.”

“Together with the waterborne transport sector, CINEA will continue to play a key role in further stimulating deployment by supporting first movers and by fostering synergies with other EU funding programmes”.

As Vice Chairman of Waterborne's Board, Lighthouse's director Åsa Burman also highlighted the growing commitment in the sector to reduce its climate footprint.
“The projects co-funded in the framework of Horizon 2020, have been essential to make the next steps regarding any transition. In addition, it facilitated the European waterborne transport sector to jointly work on a vision and mission towards 2050, which resulted in the Co-Programmed Partnership on Zero- Emission Waterborne Transport in the framework of Horizon Europe, said Åsa Burman.
She continued:
"Building upon the foundations laid over the past couple of years, the sector will be able to collectively provide policy guidance regarding research, development and innovation. However, in order to realise our high ambitions, deployment and competitiveness are key elements to be properly reflected upon as well. As shown today, with almost 500 participants present in the conference, there is a momentum to continue the cooperation between all public and private waterborne transport stakeholders, to ensure a beneficial future of the European waterborne transport sector. Thereby, we will significantly contribute to a bright future for everyone.”  

Footnote. Waterborne, the EU's maritime and maritime technology platform, has been set up to establish a continuous dialogue between all actors in the sector (classification societies, shipbuilders, shipowners, maritime equipment manufacturers, infrastructure and service providers, universities or research institutes) and with the EU. Institutions, including Member States ( The members of Waterborne represent 19 Member States. Lighthouse has been a member since 2019 and in September 2021 Åsa Burman was elected Vice Chairman of Waterborne's Board.

To the workshop on Waterborne's website

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