UK marine industries chart course to 2020

Published on Friday, 19 March 2010 09:33
Posted by Roger Tolman

UK Marine industries urged to pull together to exploit global opportunities for sector as Government announces

 £4 million for a marine building on the University of Plymouth campus

Ian Lucas, Minister for Business haas issued a call to action to the UK marine industries to collaborate on their common goal of strengthening this sector’s global market position over the next 10 years.

As co-chair of the Marine Industries Leadership Council (MILC), a joint Government and industry body, the minister launched the UK Marine Industries Strategic Framework alongside Alan Johnston, MILC co-chair and Managing Director of BAE Systems Surface Ships.

Speaking at this event, Ian Lucas, Business Minister said:

“The UK’s Marine sector is a big contributor to our economy, but without industries joining up we can only get so far. Government, industry and stakeholders must all work together to maximise the sector’s full potential.

“The challenge for the UK Marine Industries over the next ten years is to continue to build and maintain this diverse, world class sector and ensure it plays a key role in our future advanced manufacturing and low carbon economy. This framework sets the pathway to achieving this, but this vision can only become reality by the work of a committed, unified sector.”

The MILC’s vision for 2020, as set out in the framework, sees the UK marine industry:

  • exploiting its opportunities for growth
  • strengthening its international reputation
  • and maintaining its competitive position globally

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Energy and Climate Change also announced £4 million of funding for a marine energy project in the South West. These funds will help the University of Plymouth develop a marine building where researchers and enterprises can interact and collaborate. The Government is actively supporting the UK’s wave and tidal energy industry and has put in place the world’s most comprehensive suite of support. This includes up to £60m to support the development of marine energy in the UK.

Ian Lucas, Business Minister, said:

“The UK is ideally suited for marine energy, with thousands of miles of coastline. The sector could provide energy for 15 million homes and save up to 70 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, employing up to 16,000 people by 2050. I am delighted that today we are announcing £4m of support for a new marine building on the University of Plymouth campus that will enable collaborations between academics and industry that will drive this sector forward. The Building will house new wave tank facilities as part of the Peninsula Research Institute for Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) project, which will provide a unique UK capability for this sector. This will also help to further strengthen the South West as a Low Carbon Economic Area for marine energy”

The UK marine industries employ around 105,000 people and make a significant contribution to the UK economy.  It is one of the few sectors in the UK that spans the lifecycle of the products from research, product development, concept design to manufacture, in service support and disposal.

The sector includes such activities as design, production, maintenance and disposal of platforms systems and equipment for naval, merchant and leisure vessels and support for all marine based renewable energy.  The marine industry has an important part to play in our low carbon future, as maintaining offshore wind farms and wave power projects will need maritime support and low carbon transport will see more reliance on fuel efficient inland and short sea water transport.

Alan Johnston, MILC chairman and Managing Director of BAE Systems Surface Ships, said:

“Today marks an exciting step in uniting suppliers from the naval, commercial, leisure and marine renewable sectors to ensure that together we are greater than the sum of our parts.

“We are a maritime nation with over 90% of goods transported from across the world and as such our marine industries play a vital role in the wider economy.  In today’s competitive global market it is crucial that the UK’s marine industries secure the funding and recognition required to enable the sector to fulfil its potential and remain a strong force in the global maritime industry.”

The UK marine industries will work with government to deliver the MILC’s vision, improving competitiveness and sustainability in the industry.

Source: © Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

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