The maritime industry in the Northern Netherlands is pooling its knowledge and capabilities to take on the technological challenges and become a global player in “green”, clean shipping and digital shipbuilding. A European grant of 1.4 million euros is to support these developments.

The grant goes to the “Green Maritime Coalition”, a consortium of 21 technology developers, shipping companies, shipyards, suppliers, laboratories, universities of applied sciences and the University of Groningen.

The “Green Maritime Coalition” is initiated by the Groninger Maritime Board and Conoship International and is planning to lead the way in the transition to large-scale zero-emission shipping and digital shipbuilding. This process is aiming on industrial development and application of techniques such as hydrogen propulsion, VentiFoil-wind propulsion, Redox Flow full electric propulsion, Ship Based Carbon Capture and Storage and robotisation of production processes.

Also read: Robotics are to make northern Dutch shipyards future-proof

Maritime innovation ecosystem

‘The energy transition provides the innovative northern Dutch maritime industry great opportunities to become a global player in developing and delivery of “green” technologies for clean shipping,’ says Guus van der Bles, Director Development of Conoship International. ‘Cooperation between technology developers, shipbuilders, shipowners and knowledge institutes is essential for this, in combination with robotisation of ship production to build the innovative zero-emission ships in the Northern Netherlands. The support from the Province, EFRO and SNN will stimulate this co-operation, and accelerate innovations and development in this region.’

On Wednesday 13 July, deputy of the Province of Groningen, IJzebrand Rijzebol, handed over a cheque to the initiators of the innovation project: 1.4 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund (EFRO).

Rijzebol: ‘The maritime industry in the Northern Netherlands is innovative and strong and of great importance for employment. In the coming years, this industry will direct and make the transition to sustainable shipping. I am pleased that this challenge is being taken up in a unique collaboration between business and knowledge institutions. A northern maritime innovation ecosystem could develop into an employment powerhouse.’

Project partners

Initial project partners of the Green & Digital Maritime Innovation Ecosystem Northern Netherlands are Conoship International BV, MSN BV, Holthausen Clean Technology BV, eCONOwind BV, Bouman Industries BV, Bijlsma Wartena BV, Doze Management BV, Royal Niestern-Sander BV, Eekels Technology BV, Cadmatic BV, Wijnne & Barends’ Cargadoors- en Agentuurkantoren BV, Wagenborg Shipping BV, ROC Friese Poort, Stichting NHL Stenden Hogeschool and the University of Groningen.

Also read: Shipbuilding cluster in the north of the Netherlands remains strong

Picture: IJzebrand Rijzebol (left) hands over the European Regional Development Fund cheque to Guus van der Bles.