September Newsletter

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MarRI-UK Newsletter September 2023

Foreword from Simon Reid, Director of MarRI-UK

Welcome to the Autumn edition of the MarRI-UK newsletter, keeping you up to date with all of the latest developments within MarRI-UK.The last three months have been particularly exciting and busy for MarRI-UK with London International Shipping Week, welcoming new members, the National Shipbuilding Office Study and our Membership Research Programme being some of the highlights.

It’s a good time, as we move into Autumn, to reflect on our journey so far. Over the past four years, MarRI-UK has evolved from the original 11 founding members to the current 24 members and partners. Over that time a remarkable alliance of researchers, institutions, and organisations has united under a group of pioneering projects funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) through MarRI-UK. This work has been instrumental in laying the foundation for the decarbonisation of the UK maritime industry as well as building up the MarRI-UK Community. Some of these projects were completed a while ago, as we have recently passed our fourth anniversary, we thought now was a good opportunity to recap the journey, and showcase the impact of these projects. We have produced this booklet, highlighting these projects’ key outputs and impacts.Beyond individual achievements, the true value of this research lies in the collaborative bonds cultivated among a traditionally fragmented sector. These partnerships continue to thrive, as evidenced in the CMDC and ZEVI projects. These cooperative endeavours create a vibrant maritime ecosystem, where shared knowledge and innovation drives the industry towards a bright and resilient future.

I hope as you read this newsletter you are inspired by all that we are doing, together.

Navigation the Maritime Research and Innovation

MarRI-UK is pleased to annouce the publication of its new booklet “Navigating the Maritime Research and Innovation” which showcases impactful DfT-funded studies on the initiation of UK maritime decarbonisation.To download and read the booklet, click here.

New Member

Cygnus Atratus Joined MarRI-UK

MarRI-UK is proud to announce that Cygnus Atratus has become our fifth Associate Member.

Cygnus Atratus is a Not for Profit organisation which specialises in fuel cells and aims to support the establishment of regional SME fuel cell manufacture.

Nicholas Abson, Founder of Cygnus Atratus, introducing his organisation said “Cygnus Atratus is a IP holder and developer in the fuel cell and hydrogen production space. Currently it is working with partners in producing a metre square electrode fuel cell system for Maritime applications. As an Associate Member of MaRI UK, we are listening to members, offering our views on strategies, and contributing to technology solutions. As a practical developer, we are open to collaboration with the Maritime industry and supporting development of zero emission energy systems to meet IMO decarbonisation ambitions.”

London International Shipping Week – MarRI-UK Event

MarRI-UK held our showcase event, “Unleashing the Potential of Maritime Innovation and Research through Collaboration” at the QEII Centre in Westminster on the morning of Thursday 14th September.

The event kicked off with a keynote speech from Petra Wilkinson CBE, Director of Maritime from the DfT, who emphasised the importance of collaboration between industry and academia to drive the UK’s maritime sector forward through innovation and research.

This was followed by an overview of the refreshed MarRI-UK strategy by Simon Reid, Director of MarRI-UK, and the way in which the organisation can bring together people across the maritime industry, from the large industry players to the smaller SMEs developing specialised products, to work alongside academia in ground breaking research projects to the benefit of the whole maritime industry in the UK.

“Found the session really useful, interesting to hear from different experts and their approaches within their own areas of expertise. Useful UK Gov dept insights too. Great work by all at MarRI-UK for previous work and pulling this session together.”Nigel Quinn, CEO Bibby Marine Ltd”

To read more about MarRI-UK at LISW, click here

Marine Technology Postgraduate Conference

MarRI-UK is excited to annouce that we will be launching the Marine Technology Postgraduate Conference at the University of Southampton, from the 16th to 17th of April 2024 and will be an excellent opportunity to showcase much of the groundbreaking research being devleoped by our member universities. A planning committee, chaired by Professor Alan Murphy, from the University of Southampton, has been organised and more information will be shared shortly.If you or your organisation are interested in getting involved or considering sponsoring the conference, please get in touch at

The UK’s Academic Capacity and Capability for Shipbuilding Study

At the beginning of the year, the National Shipbuilding Office (NSO) approached MarRI-UK to undertake a piece of research to highlight the UK’s existing academic research expertise in the shipbuilding industry and identify the opportunities to disrupt the market to stay one step ahead and improve competitiveness compared to other nations. The work will enable a better understanding of how to achieve the refreshed National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSbS) vision of being a globally successful, innovative and sustainable UK shipbuilding enterprise.

The work is being undertaken by the MarRI-UK academic members and partner:

  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • Newcastle University
  • The Alan Turing Institute
  • University College London
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Strathclyde

Over the course of the last six months, 19 researchers and 9 Principal Investigators (PI) have been working on the project, conducting research on a wide range of topics to be able to provide the NSO with information on the areas of leading research in the UK and which of these areas critically require further investment to benefit existing and emergent members of the UK’s maritime shipbuilding industry.

We are now coming to the end of the project and the writers are completing the final report which will be submitted to the NSO over the next few days.

There have been some interesting findings that we will include in the report to the NSO which we hope will support  investment prioritisation and fufill the vision set by the refreshed NSbS. Once the report has been finalised we hope to be able to share some of these important conclusions so that we can help to drive the shipbuilding industry forward.

Members News

MarRI-UK is not just an organisation, but a network of many different industrial organisations, universities and not-for-profit institutions. Here are a few highlights from our members over the last three months.Ecomar Propulsion Ltd

Ecomar Propulsion are proud to annouce they have demonstrated the feasibility of zero emission offshore survey vessels.

Ecomar Propulsion unveiled ground-breaking results of a research and development  project which proves the technical and economic feasibility of achieving zero emission operations in offshore survey and research vessels (OSRVs).

The project which started in January 2023 involved eight partners and investigated innovative ship designs and integration with energy efficient hybrid drive train systems to increase overall ship efficiency resulting in significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the transition to zero emission fuels. The results were presented at The Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition final showcase on 16 September at the Department for Transport’s Clean Maritime Day at London International Shipping Week.

For more information contact:

University of Plymouth

£5.4million project aims to develop world’s largest network of electric workboats

The University of Plymouth has strengthened its position at the forefront of clean maritime innovation thanks to a new initiative that will deploy the world’s largest network of electric workboats.
The Zero Emission Network of Workboats (ZENOW) project has received £4.1 million in grant funding from the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) and Innovate UK as part of its Zero Emissions Vessels and Infrastructure competition (ZEVI).
It brings the total funding secured by the project to £5.4 million and marks a step change in zero emission workboat operations, delivering commercial clean maritime technology.To read more, click hereBMT

BMT unveils its new Large Uncrewed Surface Vessel (LUSV) vision

In a stride towards shaping the future of naval technological prowess, BMT, the leading international multi-disciplinary engineering and ship design consultancy, has unveiled its Large Uncrewed Surface Vessel (LUSV) vision.

As part of its commitment to horizon scanning, BMT demonstrates why LUSVs could be a necessary enabler for any future blue water navy, as it seeks to balance operational capability and cost-effective mass.

To read more, click here

University of Liverpool and University of Newcastle

UK National Clean Maritime Research Hub (UK-MaRes Hub)

Two of MarRI-UK’s academic members, the University of Liverpool and the University of Newcastle, were part of the successful consortium led by Durham University to establish the flagship UK National Clean Maritime Research Hub (UK-MaRes Hub) to decarbonise the UK shipping industry.

To read more, click here

Upcoming Events

British Ports Assocation Conference 2023

British Ports Association Conference – 17th – 19th October 2023

MarRI-UK shall have a stand at this year’s conference. Don’t forget to say hello if you are attending the conference!

DfT Funded Projects

Project Final ReportsFinal Reports providing in-depth results relating to many of MarRI-UK’s projects can be found on MarRI-UK’s website. If you want to get in contact with any of our project teams, please get in contact as we are always happy to begin new collaborations.

To access the final reports click here.

Newsletter Survey

Thank you for reading the MarRI-UK newsletter. We are always striving to find new and interesting ways of connecting with the wider MarRI-UK network and so we would appreciate if you could take 2 minutes out of your day to fill out this three question survey.From everyone at MarRI-UK thank you for being with us this last four years, we can’t wait to innovate more with you in the future!




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