European Zero-Emission Waterborne Transport Partnership adopts updated research and innovation strategy and investments


The Partnership Board of the Co-Programmed Partnership on Zero-Emission Waterborne Transport adopts its updated research and innovation strategy and related investments enabling Europe to demonstrate deployable zero-emission maritime and inland ships by 2030.

Brussels, 15 January 2024
Today, the Partnership Board governing the Co-Programmed Partnership on Zero-Emission Waterborne Transport in the framework of Horizon Europe organised its fifth meeting. During this meeting, the Partnership Board, amongst others, adopted the updated Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, detailing the roadmap to achieve the objectives set. The Board adopted the Additional Activities Plan 2024, outlining the investments foreseen by the broader waterborne transport sector.

The partnership aims to lead and accelerate the transformation of waterborne transport (i.e. maritime transport and inland navigation) to eliminate environmental emissions such as greenhouse gas, air and water pollutants, through innovative technologies and operations. Its objective is to develop and demonstrate, by 2030, zero-emission solutions applicable for all main ship types and services, paving the way for zero-emission waterborne transport by 2050.

The Partnership Board is the main forum for dialogue and steering by both the Waterborne Technology Platform and the European Commission Services, with the ultimate purpose of reaching the objectives of the European Partnership. The Delegates of the Waterborne Technology Platform represent the broader waterborne transport sector ranging from shipyards, maritime equipment manufacturers, classification societies, research institutes and associations to academia.

The Delegates in name of the Waterborne Technology Platform are: Florian Carre, Director, ECMAR; Michele Francioni, Senior Vice President Cost Efficiency & Process Improvement, MSC Cruises; Inkeri Huttu, Global Technology Manager, ABB Marine & Ports; Pieter Huyskens, Director, Damen Research, Development & Innovation B.V.; Markus Lehne, Principal Consultant, BALance technology consulting; Cecilia Leotardi, Research Engineer, National Research Council of Italy; Stéphanie Lesage, Corporate Secretary, Airseas; Jarkko Paavola, Executive Principal Lecturer, Research Team Leader, Turku University of Applied Sciences; Ketil Paulsen, Head of External Funding and Partnerships, Kongsberg Maritime; Helena Rapp, Head of EU Department, German Maritime Centre; Laurent Rouxel-Duval, R&D Vice-President, Chantiers de l’Atlantique; Janeta Toma, General Manager, European Inland Waterway Transport Platform; and Konstantinos Voutzoulidis, Manager, Business Development, American Bureau of Shipping.

The Chairperson of the Delegates Group and co-chair of the Partnership Board, Pieter Huyskens, said “The updated version of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) includes a concrete and jointly agreed roadmap for the transition to zero-emission waterborne transport. The update focuses on the inclusion of the most recent legislative developments at European level, as well as international targets set. In addition, priorities for research and innovation for the years 2025, 2026 and 2027 have been identified. Finally, the Additional Activities Plan sets out EUR 600 million Euros of investments by the industry, and the SRIA includes EUR 180 million of investments in research, development and innovation via Horizon Europe.

Rosalinde van der Vlies, Director Clean Planet, DG RTD of the European Commission said: “Since the establishment of the Zero-Emission Waterborne Transport partnership, which benefits of an EU contribution of €530 million through Horizon Europe, the EU together with the waterborne transport sector have taken actions that are already delivering technological results that contribute to decarbonizing the waterborne transport sector. The update of the partnership’s Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda responds to new legally binding goals to decarbonize the waterborne sector spelled out in the new FuelEU Maritime Regulation, setting a tailored roadmap for Europe to demonstrate by 2030 the solutions that will enable zero-emission waterborne transport by 2050”.

WATERBORNE TP has been set up as an industry-oriented Technology Platform to establish a continuous dialogue between all waterborne stakeholders, such as classification societies, shipbuilders, shipowners, maritime equipment manufacturers, infrastructure and service providers, universities or research institutes, and with the EU Institutions, including Member States ( The members of Waterborne TP comprise members as well as associated members from both maritime and inland navigation countries, representing about 21 Member States. In addition, the Associations member of the Waterborne Technology Platform represent the broader waterborne sector throughout the entire EU.

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