Yesterday (Monday 7 September 2015) the UK Department for Transport published a report on the competitiveness of the UK maritime sector and recommendations to support future growth.
Its Maritime growth study: keeping the UK competitive in a global market contains the findings of the industry Maritime Growth Study.
The study was chaired by Lord Mountevans, who recommends that action is taken to provide:
leadership by both government and industry, including a more commercial and responsive UK maritime administration within government and an industry-led promotional body.
more proactive action to replenish and develop the skills needed to maintain our position as a world-leading maritime centre.
effective marketing by industry and government of what the UK maritime sector has to offer both domestically and internationally.
The report states that growth in the UK maritime sector has been, and will continue to be, reliant on the innovative nature of its industries.
It foresees rapid change across in the sector over the coming years, with a continuing drive towards greater efficiency and further automation of vessels, with increased opportunities for the UK in the manufacture of marine equipment, ship design and classification.
Priority technologies identified in a roadmapping exercise (in which KTN has been involved) it suggests has the greatest opportunity for exploitation UK are:
Integration of on-board systems including propulsion and electrical systems to deliver optimised operation with reduced through-life costs;
Design and manufacture of autonomous surface and underwater vehicles and the associated intelligent systems;
Design and manufacture of super yachts, high-end powerboats and sailing yachts;
Extended use of composites materials;
Voyage optimisation systems to deliver just in time arrival at port at lowest cost.
Programme of action
The report includes programme of action - suggested actions of leadership, skills, and marketing - to highlight the UK maritime sector’s innovations more strongly.
It suggests improvements in government and industry leadership of maritime activity through a more joined-up approach to support knowledge transfer and increase exposure of mechanisms, including funding, that support innovation and enterprise.
The report also recommends industry and government leadership could help to facilitate and encourage the development of local maritime clusters, particularly around ports, and that stability would help grow the maritime sector and attracting foreign investment and companies.