Port of Tyne: A Hub for Innovation



Interview with Dr Jo North, Technology & Transformation Director, Port of Tyne


In July 2019, the Port of Tyne in the UK inaugurated the Maritime 2050 Innovation Hub. The initiative will see the involved partners collaborate to develop solutions to the technological challenges facing the maritime sector and the wider logistics industry both nationally and globally.

As to what the focus is for the hub, Dr Jo North, Technology & Transformation Director, Port of Tyne explained, “In broad terms
we are looking at any innovative or disruptive technologies that can help take the sector forward towards its Maritime 2050 targets.”

The Maritime 2050 Strategy is a UK Government strategy which sets out the government’s ambitions for the future of the British maritime sector.
“As part of our innovation sprints and workshops we have identified some specific challenge statements. These are to achieve operational efficiency through technology and automation, improve supply chain integration and hinterland connectivity, commit to a zero harm policy using the broadest possible interpretation and to work towards full decarbonisation, following the best practice principles of the circular economy.”

Alongside the Port of Tyne the Innovation Hub will see contribution from PD Ports, Nissan, Connected Places Catapult, Accenture, Royal HaskoningDHV and Ubisoft. The learnings from the Innovation Hub are not just for the UK either.

“The Port of Tyne is currently working closely with several ports, nationally, European and worldwide. We are exploring ways of working collaboratively together and to learn from each other,” North explained.

“The 2050 Innovation Hub is looking to promote an open approach to innovation, and we would be willing to share our knowledge, data, experiences and expertise with other like-minded organisations for the benefit of all.”

As with all ports, competitiveness is a key factor, and ports in the North of the UK need to collaborate with manufacturers and technology partners in order to increase their global competitiveness. At the moment the Port of Tyne is the UK’s second largest car exporting port and handles 40% of the UK’s raw team imports.

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