The UK Government has appointed a new group of experts to advise on the future of the maritime industry, with ground-breaking technology such as automation and digital ports high on the agenda.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced the appointment of the team on March 27, 2018, who will work closely with industry contacts to ensure the UK’s global shipping is kept up to date.
Grayling has also launched a call for evidence on Maritime 2050 to gain extra perspectives on the government’s strategy to capitalise on future opportunities for the maritime sector.
Maritime 2050 is set to explore the challenges and opportunities the industry faces and create a long-term plan for encouraging economic growth, which is likely to include digital advances to help make shipping more efficient and the use of low-drag paint to reduce fuel consumption.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “The success of the UK depends on our shipping – it helps put food in our cupboards and fuel in our vehicles.
“We want to maintain our position as a world leading maritime nation and working with the experts from within maritime, as well as those with broader experience, will help us ensure we take every opportunity open to this vital sector.
“Maritime 2050 is a once in a generation opportunity to set an ambitious vision for the future of this key sector and I encourage all of those who depend on shipping to have their say.”
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The Call for Evidence, which closes on May 16, 2018, highlights a number of fundamental themes to the growth of UK maritime – including technology, trade, environment and security.
The new expert panel will be chaired by Chief Executive of Renewable UK Hugh McNeal, and will be made up of academic and industry experts including Chairman of the Port of Tyne Lucy Armstrong and Chief Executive of the BMT Group Sarah Kenny.
McNeal said: “I am honoured to be appointed by the Secretary of State to chair the Maritime 2050 Expert Panel, which will offer advice and look strategically at issues of critical importance to the maritime industry to 2050.
“The proposed long-term Maritime 2050 strategy is a recognition of the vital importance of the industry to the UK economy.
“Shaping the future of the sector is not only important for the maritime industry, but also for every UK business that uses maritime services.
“This is a unique opportunity to have a say in the direction of the UK maritime sector and I encourage the industry, its partners and academics with a stake in the future of UK maritime to respond to the call for evidence.”
The announcement comes one week before the UK is set to lead the push for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to adopt an ambitious environmental strategy aimed at reducing emissions – calling for zero-emission shipping across the global sector to be achieved as soon as possible.
The UK Government are also helping set up Maritime UK’s Women in Maritime Taskforce, hoping to increase the number of women employed in the sector.