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New European Partnership Commits the Waterborne Transport Sector to Zero Emissions by 2050

Jun 15 2021
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Today, the College of Commissioners of the European Commission took an important step towards the realisation of zero-emission waterborne transport. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a Co-Programmed Partnership between the European Commission and the Waterborne Technology Platform under the framework of Horizon Europe was adopted, to be signed during the European Research and Innovation Days on 23 June 2021.

The Partnership will provide and demonstrate zero-emission solutions for all main ship types and services before 2030, which will enable zero-emission waterborne transport before 2050.

The Partnership will be essential to deliver solutions for pressing environmental and societal challenges. By doing so, the Partnership will strengthen the competitiveness of European industries in growing green ship technology markets and provide the capability to re-enter markets presently dominated by Europe’s competitors.

The challenge of eliminating GHG emissions, other air pollutants, as well as pollutants to water requires disruptive solutions and a coordinated and joint approach. Bringing and keeping the diversified waterborne transport sector together requires a long-term vision, strategy and programming. Business as usual will not achieve the targets, and the Partnership will be key to coordinate initiatives, avoid duplication of efforts and speed up efforts.

The Partnership brings together the majority of the European waterborne transport sector, including the European maritime technology sector (shipyards and maritime equipment manufacturers), most of the container transport capacity worldwide, excellent research and cluster organisations, academia, class societies, the inland navigation sector as well as associations representing the broader waterborne transport sector.

The Chairman of the Waterborne Technology Platform, Henk Prins, said “The members of the Waterborne Technology Platform have been preparing for this important and unique opportunity for the sector over the past couple of years. We have established a close cooperation with both the EU institutions and Member States from the outset. This clearly shows the commitment of the entire waterborne transport sector and its stakeholders, to deliver solutions for societal challenges. Whilst the official launch of the Partnership is foreseen for 23 June 2021, today we celebrate the final step in the preparations of the Partnership”.


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 18 Member States. In addition, the Associations member of the Waterborne Technology Platform represent the broader waterborne sector throughout the entire EU.

Enquiries concerning how to join and become more closely involved in the “Zero-Emission Waterborne Transport” partnership or other activities of the Waterborne TP can be sent to: Jaap Gebraad, Executive-director Waterborne TP,,
tel: +32 493 835 626
Waterborne Transport