University of Birmingham research forms part of UK National Clean Maritime Research Hub

Birmingham will spearhead research on low-carbon power and propulsion systems for shipping as part of the UK National Clean Maritime Research Hub.

Brightly coloured shipping containers on a long boat, shot from above in the sea

The UK National Clean Maritime Research Hub will focus on sustainable shipping

Led by Durham University, this national hub will foster close partnerships with a diverse range of collaborators, including shipping companies, ports, equipment and service providers, fuel producers, and civic bodies and will focus on cutting-edge research in vital areas such as sustainable marine fuels, low-carbon power, and propulsion systems for shipping, decarbonised port operations and infrastructure, enhanced maritime operations, and improved vessel efficiency.

Funding for the UK National Clean Maritime Research Hub (UK-MaRes Hub) comprises £7.4 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Department for Transport, supplemented by matched contributions from project partners, with a total funding pool exceeding £10 million by the project's conclusion.

Set to run for 43 months, the Hub will engage 25 academics from Durham, Birmingham, Nottingham, Brighton, Liverpool, Cranfield, Ulster, Sheffield, St Andrews, Newcastle, and Southampton Solent, along with over 60 industrial partners.

Dr Dawei Wu, who will lead the programme at the University of Birmingham, articulated the vision of the UK-MaRes Hub:

"The UK-MaRes Hub is dedicated to nurturing collaboration, innovation, and transformative breakthroughs within the maritime industry to establish a global standard for excellence in maritime research."

The University of Birmingham possesses world-leading research capabilities and state-of-the-art facilities in the realms of zero-carbon fuels and emission-free propulsion systems for transportation. We are poised to leverage our top-tier engineering laboratories, encompassing hydrogen/ammonia/e-fuels combustion, advanced thermofluid systems, cutting-edge engine test rigs, emission reduction testing facilities, and digital twin technology with Hardware in Loop capabilities. These resources will be instrumental in addressing the urgent decarbonisation decarbonisation challenges confronting the maritime sector. Our commitment extends beyond the provision of scientific evidence and innovative prototypes. We are dedicated to aiding the industry in swiftly navigating decarbonisation decisions concerning their assets through the application of digital technologies enhanced by a diverse array of advanced algorithms. We are enthusiastic about commencing this new project and contributing to the dawn of a Net-Zero era within the esteemed UK maritime sector."

Dr. Dawei Wu

Launched on 14 September 2023 at London Shipping Week by Transport Secretary Mark Harper and Maritime Minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton, UK-MaRes is part of a new package of clean maritime measures – the Clean Maritime Day package. It accompanies the rollout of the £1.5 million International Green Corridor Fund, established in collaboration with international partners like Norway and Denmark to promote sustainable shipping.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper underscored the significance of decarbonising the maritime sector, which, while pivotal to the UK's economy, remains a substantial contributor to the country's emissions. This comprehensive approach marks a crucial step towards a more sustainable and environmentally responsible maritime industry.