Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i was set up to help the marine tech sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through harnessing the full potential of research and innovation.
The manifesto sets out the sector’s priorities for the next government across key areas such as people, innovation, competitiveness, environment and regional growth. It highlights the fact that maritime is one of Britain’s biggest industries, adding more to the UK economy than rail and air combined.
Prof. Lars Johanning of University of Exeter, lead partner for Marine-I, says:
“We fully support this important initiative from Maritime UK. It is vital that, whatever the make up of the incoming government, we continue to recognise the significance of the maritime sector for the wider economy. Not only is it important to protect the 1.1 million jobs that currently rely on the industry, but we must also grasp the exciting opportunities offered by the growth industries of the future.
“Over the last three years, Marine-i has supported some highly innovative Cornish businesses working in fields as diverse as marine renewable energy, maritime operations, marine environmental technology and marine manufacturing. We have proved that new products and services driven by UK expertise have the potential to open up valuable new global markets.”
The Maritime Manifesto wants the government to help position the UK as a world leader in innovation for the industry, supported by investment in a new cross-sector collaboration vehicle called Maritime Research & Innovation UK. It also wants to ensure that coastal regions like Cornwall have the right digital and energy connectivity to develop the modern, sustainable marine industries of tomorrow. Prof Johanning says:
“Marine technology in the UK is currently undergoing a radical transformation that is creating amazing growth opportunities for the economy. With the right level of government support, we can ensure that this momentum is maintained into the future.”
The Manifesto for Maritime can be viewed and downloaded here.