CORE POWER was started in 2018 to take a decisive lead in fulfilling a new market for advanced nuclear technology in heavy transport and industry.
Advanced nuclear to us means small, mass-manufactured workhorse reactors with inherently passive safety characteristics, which can be operated for up to 30 years without refueling. This is a major departure from conventional nuclear reactor technology and represents a deep and disruptive opportunity for the hardest-to-abate markets.
CORE POWER is building strategic positions with the leading nuclear innovations companies in the West to co-fund and co-develop marine-appropriate reactor technology, power conversion machinery and control systems that allow us to exclusively build a combined power and propulsion suite to meet the true-zero emission needs of industry.
We are now co-funding the Molten Chloride Fast Reactor from TerraPower with Southern Co, ORANO and the U.S. Dept of Energy and hold global exclusivity for maritime propulsion of that technology. We are also developing similar exclusive positions with other leading nuclear vendor companies for a fast-growing customer base of leading ship owners, cargo owners, miners, and corporations in heavy industry.
Heavy industry and transport will only ‘decarbonise’ if it can afford to do so. CORE POWER’s advanced nuclear solutions come with substantial added economic benefits, which simply cannot be had with weather dependent power sources and hydrogen-based fuel solutions.
The core target market for nuclear-electric maritime propulsion of the 17,000 largest ships is estimated at $150 Billion per year, with deeper market niches of up to 25,000 medium sized ships increasing that potential. Further market niches flow naturally from those opportunities. The largest 17,000 vessels are responsible for over 80% of emissions from international shipping. Powering these vessels with next generation reactors presents the best option for decarbonisation and long-term sustainability of the shipping sector.
The maritime sector is currently undergoing its biggest transformation since the move from sail to steam and the ambitions set out by the Maritime 2050 plan go some way to support the aims and objectives of the shipping industry in the UK. The requirement for decarbonisation presents immense challenges to the sector and will require a paradigm shift of the industry including vessel production, maintenance, fuel sourcing, financing, classification, and insurance. These could all be served well from the UK.
The actions to support this transition in the maritime 2050 plan are very welcome. The plans focus on the UK’s current areas of strength regarding services is prudent and present the best opportunities for the growth in the maritime market in the coming years.
CORE POWER strongly believe that ambitions of the maritime 2050 plan are achievable but currently lack a game changing driver. It is our believe that by taking the lead on the development of marinised nuclear power could be that game changer. By embracing the development of maritime nuclear power, the UK could fulfil 69 of the 75 policy items in maritime 2050 (see attached). While the aims of objectives of the maritime 2050 plan are commendable, without a key technology driver the UK is likely to struggle to outcompete other states with lower costs and strong maritime industries.
The maritime 2050 plan has so far been effective in affecting UK government policy notably with the launch of the UK government shipbuilding fund in March 2022. The commitment of funding to UK’s Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions is extremely welcome. The Office should seek to offer cost-share funding opportunities to companies that are offering solutions that are scalable to meet the demands of commercial shipping and which benefit the UK. Much of the discussion for proposed paths to decarbonisation refer to alternative fuels solutions that will not be able to produce fuels of sufficient quantity to make a meaningful contribution to the decarbonisation of commercial shipping.
The publishing of the maritime 2050 has led to several other actions that are welcome to the maritime industry in the UK. This renewed focus on the maritime sector across government is welcome and means the maritime sector can operate with confidence when making investment decisions within the UK.
With regards to nuclear shipping the UK government has already shown initiative. The UK government ratification of Chapter 8 of SOLAS on the use of commercially powered nuclear ships is a very welcome first step from the UK government towards embracing a new technology. If the UK want to lead the shipping decarbonisation effort the next important step, we can take is updating the rules to consider developments in reactor technology and naval architecture. This will have to be carried out with partner nations at the IMO and the IAEA, in particular the US.
The plan has also driven the UK leadership on the ‘Clydesdale declaration’. The plan to create green corridors for international shipping is an important step in the drive to fully decarbonise the industry. While green corridors are currently conceived on the production of green fuels at either end of the journey, the more effective and cost beneficial option is advanced marine nuclear. This would be a green regulatory corridor between two nations where both nations have implemented regulations to allow nuclear powered shipping. This would allow nuclear powered vessels to transit between the two nations without regulation having had to pass through the full IMO process. This would be the simplest way to begin deployment of nuclear-powered commercial vessels
The publication of the UK shipbuilding strategy has also been a welcome development especially with its focus on the production of components for zero emission vessels. As the UK already has a strong nuclear manufacturing base this offers another growth opportunity for nuclear shipping in the UK. With recent announcements from Number 10 showing strong commitment to building out the nuclear energy capabilities of the UK, we see the opportunity to create a new industry in the UK which combines advanced nuclear with the maritime cluster. If the government was to further support the development of advanced marine reactors in the UK by encouraging regulatory development to facilitate their deployment, it could provide a massive boost to the industry and the starting gun to a new and exciting market where the UK would be the leader.
The commitment to revitalising the UK as a flag state while maintaining its quality is commendable, however is unlikely to be successful. The advent of marinised nuclear power could change this as nuclear-powered vessels would need to be registered in nations that have both a strong nuclear and maritime regulator. The UK leads the field globally in this regard. If the UK government was to commit to developing the appropriate regulation for nuclear shipping it would allow the UK to capture a large proportion of an emerging sector in international shipping for the UK ship register. These actions could put an end to the dominance of ‘flags of convenience’ fundamentally changing the way shipping is taxed and regulated.
The maritime 2050 has been a benefit to the UK maritime sector. It has reasserted the UK desire to lead the world maritime industry and to capitalise on its long history of seafaring excellence. By putting front and center the decarbonisation agenda the UK has chosen to take the lead in the most important maritime development in a century. For the UK to capture the benefits of this change it will need to take the lead on the game changing technology of marinised nuclear power. This technology would allow the UK to fulfil the visions of the maritime 2050 plan growing the maritime industry and outcompeting competitors.
We see a strong correlation between the affirmative action of the UKMCA in passing SOLAS Chapter VIII into UK law in 2021, and the ambitions of the UK Government through Department for Transport in its stated policy framework for the maritime sector as set out in ‘Maritime 2050’ (January 2019). Here we set out the various correlations and touchpoints as we see them.
Maritime 2050 - Navigating the Future - January 2019
The UK is one of the world's leading maritime nations. Its status is built upon a remarkable historical foundation, our geography, and a large and vibrant economy. But leading maritime nations only hold that position because they adapt and plan for the future. So, the UK is looking far ahead, to allow us to support and grow the maritime sector with strength and determination. This is a maritime strategy to take the UK into the second half of the 2pt century.
Advanced nuclear is the only true zero emission energy source for heavy transport and industry. By taking part in developing, licensing, and building services around advanced atomic in the UK, the UK maritime sector can be the most future ready of all.
The maritime sector has played a critical role for centuries in the growth and development of the UK as a primary facilitator of global trade. Our highly successful commercial ports have constantly evolved, investing billions in their operations to ensure they remain at the fore of new patterns of trade. Today we rely on the sector not only for the import and export of goods, but also the value the wider maritime sector brings to our economy through the likes of businesses services. Its absence would be quickly felt.
Advanced nuclear to power ships and make green transport fuels will spur new competitive advantages for UK companies in global trade.
The government and the maritime industry are clear that maritime has an integral role to play in the future of the UK. The government has not taken a strategic look at the future of the maritime sector for many years. The need to do so was identified in the 2015 Maritime Growth Study (MGS), which recommended the development of a national strategy for the maritime sector "which could send a strong signal to international customers and competitors".
By taking part in developing, licensing, and building services around advanced nuclear in the UK, the UK can build and protect commercial barriers to entry and competitive strengths that other nations cannot match.
As the UK looks to reframe its relationship with the world, the time is right to set our vision for the future of the maritime sector. We are confident the maritime sector will thrive and strengthen, as it harnesses the opportunities that EU exit brings. We are working with countries across the world to explore the best ways to develop our current trade and investment relationships and ensure that Britain becomes a global leader in free trade upon departure. We also want a positive future relationship with our European neighbours, encompassing both economic and security cooperation, working in the interests of all.
By taking a leading role in true zero emission technology deployment the UK can build new, strong relationships with important trading partners and thrive in a zero emission world.
Although maritime is largely a reserved policy responsibility in the UK there are some key interests in the devolved areas, with wide involvement in seafaring and coastal industries. Devolved administrations have some direct responsibility for areas such as ports, which themselves have a huge local and regional impact on the economy. The strategy recognises these interests by building on the strong partnerships between UK government and the devolved administrations.
By taking part in developing, licensing, and building services around advanced nuclear in the UK, all sectors and regions can benefit from new jobs in increased manufacturing, maintenance, and operations.
Maritime 2050 is intentionally ambitious. If we do not set the ambition high, we risk limited progress. Maritime is truly global and will move where business is best. Therefore, we must maintain and improve our offering. Maritime 2050 is a recognition that our maritime future will not look like our maritime past. While we will not be world-leaders across the entirety of the sector, the expertise we have honed over generations will allow us to lead in certain areas such as technological and environmental innovation, and in high quality maritime business services.
True Zero emission energy required 100% ambition. By taking part in developing, licensing, and building services around advanced nuclear in the UK, a new maritime future can be built for the UK maritime sector.
Maritime 2050 values and ambitions (7-11)
7. Underpinning our work is a set of five core values for UK maritime:
These correspond to:
These values are enduring and distinctive core beliefs that guide the activities and goals of this strategy. They establish why we do what we do and what we stand for. They will be crucial in influencing the attitudes and behaviours of all those involved, as we develop the capabilities and capacity to meet future challenges and opportunities within the sector.
Our strategy coalesces around a set of 10 core strategic ambitions. These ambitions provide, in their simplest form, our bold and aspirational objectives as we head towards and beyond the middle of the 21st century.
10 core strategic advantages from advanced nuclear for maritime in the UK are identified as follows:
Re-build strength in the law, finance, insurance, management, broking, and green finance on the back of unique UK originated technology.
True zero emission technology with high barriers to entry for other nations.
Cutting edge innovation and further incremental innovation spurred by universities and SMEs.
Setting and delivering the highest standards for advanced nuclear deployment in maritime.
New careers in maritime originating in STEM subjects.
Clear and beneficial export controls and growth of the UK Register.
Substantial inward investment in true zero emission energy solutions.
UKMCA takes the lead in shaping a unified set of rules and standards for international trade on advanced nuclear powered ships.
New true-zero emission energy tech creates massive demand for a larger workforce.
Huge potential for showcasing the only true zero emission energy technology for maritime that build, not destroys economic value.
The UK will:
Maritime 2050 is built on seven high level themes: the UK's competitive advantage, environment, infrastructure, people, security, technology, and trade. The themes were chosen because we see them as being of fundamental importance throughout the life of the strategy. These have been further divided into sub-themes which seek to capture a greater level of detail, including on issues which are fundamentally important to the UK, such as safety, where we seek to lead the way.
By taking part in developing, licensing, and building services around advanced nuclear, new safety standard can be led by the UK to move the world to true zero emission energy at sea and on land.
In each thematic chapter there are recommendations which seek to set out our short-, medium- and long-term priorities. Some are for government, some are for the UK maritime sector which includes our social partners, and an overwhelming majority will only be achieved through collective endeavour.
Advanced nuclear development happens in the short term, regulations and ecosystem build out in the medium term and wide deployment over the longer term.
This strategy is of course only a starting point and must evolve in the future, as we respond to future challenges and change. A series of route maps will be published in 2019 to clearly define the steps we expect to take over the next ten, twenty and thirty years to deliver on our ambitions. Government will work with the sector to develop these and the first two will cover Trade and Technology and Innovation focussing specifically on maritime autonomy as a case study.
A public private collaboration is required to reach critical mass and succeed in deploying true zero emission energy tech.
Development of the strategy (12)
Maritime 2050 builds upon an extensive body of work already dedicated to the role of the maritime sector in the UK. It sits alongside other government strategies and is supported by specific sectoral plans. It has been developed through an extensive programme of stakeholder engagement and consultation. The appointment of an independent panel of academics, industry leaders, maritime business services providers and promotional bodies - the Maritime 2050 Expert Panel - provided challenge to government and review throughout the development of this strategy.
The UK has world leading experts in every field and these should be engaged in the development of the ecosystem for deploying true zero emission energy tech in heavy transport and industry.
Maritime 2050 will only succeed if steps are taken to achieve the vision it sets out. We are clear that achieving these ambitions is not for government or industry alone and that a continued partnership is crucial. We recognise that change will come rapidly in some areas, and incrementally in others, that some steps can be taken quickly while for others the path needs to be paved. That is why the recommendations have been identified across the short (up to 5 years), medium (5 to 15 years) and long term (15 years and beyond). Delivery of the vision and recommendations in Maritime 2050 will be supported by a series of thematic route maps. These will set out in greater detail what steps government and industry will take now and in the coming years to achieve the ambitions of Maritime 2050. Through the route maps, we will review the actions being taken at an appropriate time.
Advanced nuclear development happens in the short term (up to 5 years), regulations and ecosystem build out in the medium term (5-10 years) and wide deployment over the longer term (10-15 years).
Maritime today (14-20)
For the sector to move forward, we must understand its current position. Today, the global maritime sector remains a key enabler of international trade. Indeed, international trade at current levels is only possible thanks to the maritime sector. Other transport modes have reached the practical limits of scale, yet maritime container ships continue to respond to economic forces, having more than doubled in size within a generation. That said, the maritime sector has not been immune to recent global economic recessions and a decline in global trade significantly damages the shipping sector. The financial crisis which began in 2008 has had a prolonged and adverse impact on the maritime sector with a great decline in some traditional forms of finance. Yet the importance of maritime in moving goods and commodities around the globe persists.
The UK Register is down to 10 million tons and can be rebuilt to a leading position with the world’s largest ships powered by advanced nuclear. Potential is 7,000+ ships with a DWT carriage capacity of over 840 million tons. This sits at the heart of a resurgent UK Flag and maritime sector.
The UK no longer enjoys the unprecedented global pre-eminence it once did, yet it continues to be a significant maritime power. This position is not static or stable and while the country solidified its maritime power over centuries, others have quickly risen to capitalise on geographic location or the ability to compete on price and incentives. Taking the right action now means the UK is well-placed to take a leading role in the new global maritime industry.
The shipping industry is a critical element in the UK economy. Around 95% of British imports and exports in goods are moved by sea, including 25% of the UK's energy supply, and 48% of the country's food supplies. Reliable and timely importation is therefore fundamental to the UK's national security. Maritime business services directly contribute £2 billion Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy. When impacts on the wider economy are accounted for, including the rest of the maritime sector, this rises to nearly £5 billion4. The City of London is a global leader in this area; the largest share of worldwide marine insurance premiums and shipbroking transactions occur in the UK, comprising 35% and 26% of the global market respectively5.
See above. A resurgent UK Register has the potential to multiply the contribution from maritime to the UK economy.
In addition to trade in goods, the UK enjoys a globally significant maritime tourism and leisure industry. Total revenue from the UK's leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry was put at £3.12 billion in 2017 with export success counting for just over 30% of the sector's total revenue. Our cruise sector is an exciting and fast growing one with 1.96 million cruises sold in the UK in 2017, half of which started at a British port.
The UK Cruise industry stands to benefit enormously from true zero emissions energy tech at sea and in port. Without a solution to pollution the sector is under threat.
The UK has played a leading role, through the IMO, in securing agreement to the target of a 50% greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction from the sector by 2050. Investment in maritime infrastructure, aimed at promoting the uptake of carbon neutral fuels and the generation of renewable energy such as using biomass or rotor sails, highlight the UK's commitment to environmental goals and the leading role business can play in achieving these.
The UK should show leadership and decisively move to true zero emission technology, rather than play at the fringes with technology that only marginally improves emissions.
Macro issues such as the use of data and digitalisation will shape the future of the sector which is why technology is at the heart of this strategy. The UK has a long history of innovation and invention; the light bulb, the telephone, the World Wide Web, the television, and the jet engine are all British born creations. This rich history continues - several British companies are producing early-stage autonomous vessels such as the SEA-KIT unmanned vessel. The UK maritime sector has a wide range of innovative and ambitious SMEs bringing new products to market that will improve performance and enable better business led decisions to be taken by the global maritime sector.
Advanced nuclear powered ships are fully electric ships. Fully electric ships are a pre-requisite for fully electronic ships. Fully electronic ships will be the platform on which a new generation of digital solutions can really into their own and live up the promise of a more efficient, more optimised maritime transport industry.
Fundamental to our success is our maritime people, their education and training with world-class universities and institutes providing top level training for people within the maritime industry. The UK is a world leader in this regard. Moreover, it acts as an important source of thought leadership, setting the benchmark for the promotion of industry standards in safety, regulation, and seafarer welfare. The UK recognises that the statistic that just 4% of the 10,480 UK certified officers active at sea are female8, a figure which is poorer still globally. The UK is actively working with Maritime UK and specifically the Women in Maritime Task Force to address this imbalance. This should be a start on a much wider focus on determining the reasons why there is a lack of diversity and implementing policies to attract the best and most diverse talent to the sector both on shore and at sea.
Advanced nuclear for maritime will require a new generation of seafarers, many of whom can come from STEM subjects at university. With highly skilled and in-demand UK officers in charge of a substantially larger UK flagged fleet, we see a new virtuous cycle of sea and shore-based jobs feeding an enlarged maritime cluster.
Maritime trends (21)
To a greater degree than any other transport sector, maritime is affected by global trends. Attempting to understand the impact of these trends will help the UK sector plan for its place in the global maritime industry and factor in the inherent uncertainty of what the world will look like in 2050.
The most pressing issue for global trade is true zero emission transportation and industrial processing. The UK can take a lead here with advanced nuclear.
We need to differentiate between industrial carriage and tramp shipping. The largest volumes are in industrial carriage on the largest ships, and here advanced atomic can substantially boost competitive advantages in a true-zero-emission world.
We need new high paying jobs for the younger generation and that requires innovation and new technology for industrial advancement.
Advanced nuclear will require a large workforce with new and highly desirable skills which can be fostered in UK universities and across the maritime sector.
The shift to the east is not set in stone and the west must reinvent its technological advantage to compete effectively. Advanced nuclear for heavy transport and industry has all the components required.
Advanced nuclear is new, disruptive and the only true zero emission clean energy sector. The UK should lead the way.
UK competitive advantage (22-30)
The government working in close collaboration with the maritime sector will identify and take the action needed to retain its competitive advantage as a leading maritime nation. Our vision for the UK is to be viewed globally as a top tier place to do maritime business with a number of established strengths and new opportunities to seize.
Public – private initiatives should be encouraged to stimulate inward investment to the UK maritime sector. This can be done with advanced atomic at the core.
Several of our top Maritime 2050 ambitions are covered in this theme. The UK recognises the importance of being a global leader in the IMO and other international fora to take forward our policy and regulatory ambitions and to bring our thought leadership to bear.
The UKMCA is taking affirmative action by adopting SOLAS VII into law.
This section recognises the importance of the UK being viewed globally as a great place to do business and to do it with ease. It also recognises the importance of ship owners, managers, and operators to the UK. The City of London and our world leading maritime professional services are highlighted here and their unparalleled expertise in law, arbitration, shipbroking, financial services, and consultancy. The sub-theme explores the action that will be needed and is being taken by the government in close collaboration with the sector, to remain fiscally attractive to the global shipping and maritime community.
Advanced nuclear can power a resurgent maritime sector and create the conditions for the UK to be the leading maritime economy in the world, competing with Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo, Copenhagen and Athens.
This section explores the wider power of our maritime clusters in London and throughout the UK. This is seen to have a significant impact on the regional and national economy and on our international attractiveness. Close collaboration in clusters of industry and academia working with government, creates dynamic and innovative synergies. These attract highly skilled and ambitious people, thereby bringing economic opportunities to the global maritime sector.
Advanced nuclear for heavy transport and industry can benefit all coast areas, ports, and the City of London. A joined up national strategy for developing the ecosystem is needed.
The UK's thought leadership fosters a dynamic and innovative maritime industry. Moreover, it is demonstrated through negotiations at the IMO and other international fora. This section explores how we translate UK pioneering research and thought leadership into tangible benefits. Attracting the best intellectual talent to the UK, continued support for our universities and hosting renowned international academic conferences play a key part. Beyond research, tighter partnership between the maritime industry, academia and government will maximise transfer of knowledge, and our commitment to retain the IMO in London will consolidate our position as a global thought leader. Creating a blueprint for future collaboration with leaders in the maritime educational and training sector will help the UK make the most of future actions.
The UK has the leading universities and a strong STEM sector in education. Combining this with new careers in a resurgent maritime sector around advanced nuclear will create a uniquely strong workforce that can grow for generations.
Ever closer collaboration between the government and the UK maritime sector is seen as fundamental to our competitive advantage. The creation of an increasingly influential Maritime UK has brought a more powerful single voice representing the maritime sector. Maritime UK is able to engage government at the highest levels by demonstrating its global success and setting out what it needs for the future to enhance our attractiveness to the international maritime community. The merits of a deep and extensive collaborative relationship between government and the sector is recognised as fundamental to future collective success. Government ministers and parliamentarians across parties have never been more cognisant of the importance of the sector to the UK.
A joined up national strategy for developing the ecosystem is needed.
To be able to deliver on our ambitions for Maritime 2050 the need to have an appropriate and forward looking domestic legislative regime in place is crucial. This sub-theme makes the case for a new framework and a constant evaluation and evolution of the existing regime and its application. The essential role of one of government's leading maritime agencies, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), is set out in this theme. The sub-theme also explores the future of registration and the value and importance that we attach to the UK Ship Register (UKSR). It sets out very clearly that the UK seeks to offer a premium level of service that matches modern expectations but remains uncompromising on core values particularly in quality and safety.
The UK has the leading experts in all areas of legislation for maritime and this sector should be activated through public-private initiatives aimed at developing the ecosystem for advanced nuclear deployment across the maritime cluster.
The importance that the UK attaches to a safe maritime sector is set out in this section and is vital to our future. There is recognition that globally, maritime safety standards are poor with fatal accident rates in the merchant shipping fleet high, particularly in sectors like fishing. This section explores the steps that are being taken and need to be pursued during the implementation of Maritime 2050.
The UK is a leading member of the IMO, the IAEA and hosts the world’s most prominent organisations engaged with maritime safety and goal-based standards. As above, these should be engaged from the start.
Global recognition of the UKSR as a quality brand and having the capability and flexibility to be at the forefront of world shipping, is the vision for 2050. Capitalising on innovation and the customer experience will be key parts to any future changes. Targeted promotion of the UK offer along with ongoing review to ensure the service remains in a leading position are envisaged. Longer term, horizon scanning and government support through the MCA will help support growth.
A joined up national strategy for developing the ecosystem is needed.
Government and industry to work together to maintain and enhance the attractiveness of the UK's regional maritime clusters and London as a global maritime professional services cluster.
A joined up national strategy for developing the ecosystem is needed.
Innovative SMEs working with true zero emission energy tech should be encouraged to use the UK capital markets.
The UK should engage closely with the sector to ensure fit-for-purpose rules at IMO and beyond.
The MSA must be forward looking to include true zero emission advanced atomic for the largest ships to grow the UK Register.
Future changes in technology will change the way in which the maritime sector operates, driving performance enhancements and creating opportunities for maritime businesses to take better decisions. Big data analytics, digitalisation and more advanced communications will lead to better connectivity, efficiency gains and cost savings but also present risks to business continuity such as through cyber-attack. This section sets out the UK's ambition to utilise advancements and changes in maritime technology to make the sector a cleaner, safer, and more efficient place to work with the creation of highly skilled job opportunities at sea and on shore.
Advanced nuclear will see complete disruption in the business model for industrial carriage of goods at sea.
The UKMCA should make efforts to fully understand the implications of this and how the UK maritime sector can best be shaped to respond and support new business models.
The UK is determined to be world leading in the design, manufacture, uptake, and use of smart shipping technologies. To achieve this, we will develop a UK legislative framework for autonomous vessels and lead efforts to establish an international regulatory framework. We will support industry in developing and testing new technologies by funding flagship projects and learning from other sectors like the automotive industry. The UK will be a vibrant hub of research and development. Shipping companies will benefit from a highly competitive register for technologically advanced and autonomous vessels.
The UK has all the required engineering expertise to make advanced atomic a success in creating a leading position for the UK in global shipping.
This must happen in collaboration with leading friendly nations across both atomic energy and the maritime sectors. US, Japan, France and others are key partners going forward.
As critical maritime and logistics infrastructure, ports will form part of an advanced and integrated supply chain by 2050. By pioneering new business models and realising the benefits of new digital and automated processes they will maximise throughput of goods with seamless onward connections, while continuing to act as a gateway for passengers into and out of the UK. Smart port developments will be led by industry with government support. Joint competitions to develop existing technologies, test new ideas, combined with the establishment of a cross-sector innovation hub at a UK port by 2030, will encourage innovation and the adoption of these technologies. Building on this expertise to further develop a network of regional R&D clusters will benefit local economies into the future.
UK ports can be the first to take advantage of ‘reverse cold ironing’ from advanced nuclear powered ships, enabling full true zero emissions in ports.
This sets the example for the world to follow.
Digitalisation is crucial to the future of maritime. Replacing paper-based processes and transactions will increase operational and cost efficiency for shipping. Digital documentation for seafarers will reduce the burdens on businesses and individuals, when checking required training and certification. The benefits of new technologies such as distributed ledgers (e.g., blockchain) will be identified along with government's role in supporting and developing their use. UK will lead efforts to set international standards at the IMO and ensure interoperability of systems. Agile UK regulation will allow transparency, competition, and improved efficiency while enabling secure and easy to-use systems that attract business to the UK flag. By 2050, we anticipate globally harmonised standards governing a transparent data driven 'digital by default' UK maritime space.
See 19. Above.
In future years increasing demands are expected on maritime communications and infrastructure, from the development of remotely operated vessels to the need for increased satellite coverage of remote areas like the Arctic. Understanding the potential for 'Future Navigation', what information the sector requires and UK capabilities to provide it will be key to maximising the UK's opportunities. By linking existing UK space manufacturing and R&D capabilities to the maritime sector, cross-sector potential will be unlocked. Mapping the UK's own seabed and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) - the fifth largest in the world - could realise potential economic benefits. Building on expertise gained from mapping UK waters, we anticipate leading a coalition of like-minded nations to substantively map all international waters.
See 19 above.
The UK's vision for 2050 is a diverse and rewarded workforce with a focus on good maritime welfare that will set a global benchmark for the sector. Inspiring young people to pursue maritime careers and maintaining our world leading training offer in maritime colleges and universities will allow the UK to deliver high quality skills. Future UK seafarers will be expected to transition easily between sea and shore based roles, using transferable IT based skills, and continuing professional development that allows them to update skills in line with technological advances. Increasingly maritime roles will likely have highly specialised elements and where science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills will come to the fore.
See 26. above.
Embracing change and greater harmonisation of standards with other sectors will ensure that the UK maritime offer for skills and training remains competitive. Aligning ratings training and apprenticeships with industry needs will help boost the number of UK seafarers. Mapping out the variety of career paths including from sea to shore, will help attract the right talent. Increased awareness in schools and taking maritime to the younger generation in a less formal way such as scouts, guides or local sea cadets could reinvigorate the image and appeal of the sector. Future reviews of the UK tonnage tax regime, including considering the training element and exploring greater potential for linkages between the Royal and Merchant Navies to showcase transferable skills, would support our maritime workforce ambitions.
See 26. above.
A limited talent pool has the knock-on impact of limiting important wider skills and risks industry not meeting its full economic potential through a lack of diversity. Building on joint government and industry initiatives like the Women in Maritime Taskforce will be crucial to achieving greater gender balance. Looking to 2050, consideration of diversity, not just how it relates to women, will be one of the challenges facing the sector. Promoting a maritime culture that encompasses diversity in its broadest sense, will reap wide ranging benefits.
See 26. above.
The skills profile of the maritime sector will change significantly over the next 30 years. The importance of STEM subjects will increase as jobs become more skilled and data driven in response to new technology. Industry roles will be multidisciplinary, potentially requiring the ability to create, operate and maintain autonomous and technological systems. There is an opportunity to build on the UK's existing advantage, developing, and expanding our high-quality training programmes to meet new requirements, exploring ways to bolster our offer at home and abroad. Upskilling our workforce to take advantage of emerging technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence, the agility to adapt training packages in a timely way and regular review of our skills needs will allow the UK to capitalise on its skilled workforce.
See 26. above.
The pace of technological change is expected to continue into future years, requiring workforce skills to keep pace. Without continuous learning the industry risks increased costs from high staff turnover, and individuals could suffer in terms of career progression. Mapping career paths and building professional development into training programmes will allow a proactive approach to career planning and support cross-sector mobility. Better internet connectivity at sea would remove an existing obstacle to lifelong learning, while the application of technologies such as virtual reality could facilitate retraining in new systems as well as potentially change the way in which traditional training programmes are delivered.
See 26. above.
Seafarers suffer a high incidence of mental health conditions, primarily due to the pressures, nature, and isolation of working at sea. Changing technology could be utilised to improve sea connectivity. The UK has the opportunity to lead the way in considering the mental health of seafarers and the wider maritime workforce. We would look to develop the concept of a UK social framework, working collaboratively with industry and our social partners to set expectations for the welfare of the UK maritime workforce, while simultaneously leading the push for better standards internationally including a limit on hours per shift to combat seafarer fatigue and eradicating modern day slavery.
See 26. above.
The scale of goods and people moving around the world is greater than ever before. As evidence mounts for the need to act with urgency to address climate change, it is clear a global transition to a cleaner and greener maritime sector is underway. The UK can use its strengths in areas such as maritime technology and finance, to help deliver its environmental goals and international environment commitments, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The vision is for an environmentally sustainable sector, reducing impacts as close to zero as possible, while leading the way on green finance and setting international standards. Collaborative working with industry and academia will help identify innovative technological solutions and maximise the economic benefits to the UK economy.
Advanced nuclear for heavy transport and industry is the only true zero emission energy technology that is suitable for large ships and the infrastructure to support them. Sustainability requires reuse and recycling with minimal pollution and the ability to obey the laws of nature over sustained periods of time. The UK can lead the way here.
Air pollution is a significant risk to human health in the UK, and as the volume of global trade increases shipping may represent a growing source of GHGs. Regulation has historically been predominantly at the international level with important milestones in recent years such as the introduction of the North Sea Emission Control Area (ECA), the agreement of a global sulphur cap to be implemented by 2020 and the adoption in 2018 of the Initial IMO Strategy on reducing GHG emissions from ships by at least 50% by 2050. These and other developments are sending a strong signal to the sector of the need for a global transition to zero emission shipping.
See 42 above.
By 2050, the UK will actively drive the transition to zero emission shipping in its waters, moving faster than competitor countries and international standards to capitalise on economic benefits and be seen as a role model in the field. Close collaboration between industry, government, and different parts of the supply chain, will enable lessons to be learned from other sectors, ensuring new regulation is appropriate and helping maritime companies realise the benefits of research and investment. Ultimately this will lead to the development and swift uptake of clean technologies.
See 42. Above.
Maritime 2050 is concerned with the impact on the marine and the immediate coastal environment. In thirty years, the UK maritime sector will have negligible wider environmental impacts, with minimisation integrated into the full ship life cycle from design and construction to operation. The UK's leadership role at the IMO will ensure proportionate global regulation that also enables us to meet high standards domestically. The government will favour an outcome-based approach to environmental legislation where possible. Continued support for the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) will improve standards of ship recycling facilities world-wide. The application of new technologies such as sensors for monitoring compliance with environmental standards will improve enforcement processes, giving greater assurance to the public. The interplay between rate of uptake, cost and unintended consequences will be fully considered when developing and implementing new technology.
See 42. Above.
The maritime sector needs to prepare for the uncertain effects of climate change. Increased flooding of ports from tidal surges, more frequent extreme weather events and coastal erosion are predicted. The flow of goods into and out of the UK as well as connectivity to road and rail infrastructure is therefore at risk of disruption in the coming years. To adapt successfully to evolving climate change risks there must be continuing collaboration between industry and agencies like the Environment Agency (EA) and Met Office, supported by government assessment of risks and opportunities. As private entities, ports have a responsibility to plan and respond to their unique vulnerabilities and improve resilience of their estates. In recognition of the potential opportunities presented by opening Arctic trade routes, the government is committed to putting the environment at the centre of maritime trade route discussions.
See 42. Above.
The UK already has strong influence at a number of global fora such as the IMO and is a leader in the field of international maritime environmental diplomacy. Globally, economic benefits associated with the increasing importance of the blue economy will generate renewed interest in environmental regulation as we move towards 2050. Over this timeframe, the UK will maintain its leading role, ensuring the global sector plays its part in meeting climate change, air quality and wider environmental goals, using its influence or 'soft power' to shape an international regulatory framework aligned with our interests.
See 30. above.
Trade is fundamental to the UK maritime sector, which when taking wider impacts into account, supports almost 1 million jobs and contributes around £40bn to UK gross domestic product (GDP9). The maritime sector both enables our global trading ambitions, being fundamental to our export success, and is a significant trading sector in its own right. This theme also explores in more detail the steps we need to take to maintain and enhance our maritime professional services success in the face of competition.
See 26. Above.
As one of our core Maritime 2050 ambitions, the pursuit of a liberalised global trading regime will have a direct impact on the maritime sector which stands to benefit from increases in trade and frictionless trade flows. Government is committed to working with UK businesses to make trade easier, to remove barriers - whether regulatory, legislative, or financial - and to unlock the potential of international exports. We envisage leveraging the UK's experience and reputation to take advantage of opportunities as they arise between now and 2050.
No specific comment.
The principle of supply and demand underpins global trade, and the goods we import, and export are constantly changing. The UK will need to match the demand in the global maritime sector or risk losses in tax, revenue, employment, and GDP. Government has already started consulting on where it should focus efforts in terms of future trade agreements and will complement this by continuing to connect industry to overseas markets and customers.
No specific comment.
Trade is driven by many factors, including the geo-political situation, transport and production costs, seasonal commodity cycles and external shocks such as war or natural disaster. These are difficult to predict but we can prepare for changes by leading the way in innovation and capitalising on commercial opportunities as they arise worldwide. Our position as world leader in the provision of maritime services is strong and should be capitalised on, in conjunction with marine engineering, technology and innovation and marine science.
See 26 and 20 above.
UK trade operates within a global rules-based framework, to date under the auspices of the European Community and the European Union. Following EU exit we will be able to sign bespoke trade deals and align trade policy with national economic interests. Regaining our independence at international fora such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) will allow us to intensify current support for the rules-based system, maximise our influence on shaping the future of the sector and its role in facilitating global trade. Multilateral and bilateral agreements will be used to grow the UK economy and maintain the sector's competitive advantage at a global level. Beyond this, MoUs, bilateral treaties and international engagement by Ministers are additional approaches we can use to unblock barriers and facilitate trade.
No specific comment.
Competition in the maritime sector is increasing. The UK must ensure it provides an attractive business environment and offer a competitive package of measures to attract inward investment. The aspiration for London and the UK to remain a world leader of maritime professional services will be achieved through industry and government working in partnership, while focussing on their respective areas of expertise.
UK development of advanced nuclear technologies for deployment on internationally trading merchant ships will enhance UK technical expertise and provide opportunity for professional services to expand further and provide a significant competitive advantage in the maritime sector.
Online trading platforms, digital transactions, and technologies like blockchain are likely to significantly impact the sector and must be harnessed to the UK's benefit. And in other areas, developing new innovative customs arrangements is an example of an area that could be used to encourage investment in the UK's ports and manufacturing hubs, supported as necessary by evidence collected from industry.
No specific comment.
A complete shift towards a new mode of transport such as hyperloop is probably unlikely by 2050, however increased investment and technological advances could make maritime and other transport modes more competitive. More fundamentally, it could profoundly influence the interconnectivity of transport modes.
Use of advanced nuclear power technologies on ships, in particular, m-MSR, will be a disruptive technology in commercial shipping and provide those merchant ships using the technology with a significant competitive advantage in the market.
Technology has the potential to alter trade patterns and demand for goods e.g., 3D printing, as well as affecting the flow of trade by facilitating cheaper or easier access to Arctic routes opened up by climate change and ensuring such routes are used in a sustainable manner. An agile UK maritime sector will be able to seize commercial opportunities arising through technology adoption and enhance its competitiveness. Moreover, the UK must integrate thinking on developing technologies into future trade agreements.
See 55 above. The fact that ships powered by m-MSR will not need to be refuelled over their service life will lead to more cargo carrying capacity at higher speeds. Such a situation will provide greater agility to enable both current and arising commercial opportunities to be seized.
The government is already progressing a five-year implementation strategy in collaboration with Maritime UK, to coordinate international promotional activity and identify how it can best add value. The Department for International Trade (DIT) is looking more closely at developing emerging areas - autonomous vessels, marine science, and decarbonisation amongst others - and the GREAT brand will develop supporting material for a high-impact maritime campaign.
Nuclear powered merchant ships to decarbonise the UK fleet could be a core theme of any future branding and would generate significant impact globally.
There is scope for more targeted promotional events internationally where a value for money case can be demonstrated that contributes to the UK's trade ambitions. Better coordination and a whole of government approach is anticipated to prospect for and develop opportunities into future years.
No specific comment.
Maritime and marine infrastructure varies enormously from vessels and physical structures at ports, to the supply chain and logistics moving freight around, to name a few. The 2050 vision is an agile sector, open to change as technology develops and adoption speeds up, matching levels in comparable industries. Autonomy, interconnected smart systems and big data will bring the shipping, cargo handling and inland logistics elements ever closer together, maximising efficiency, reliability and reducing costs. UK maritime infrastructure already pushes the boundaries of economic and technological advancement. However, future proofing to ensure the interoperability of systems and protection against potential vulnerabilities such as cyber-attack will be key drivers, as will the development of value-added services and new uses for port land. Future trade flows will likely change in line with consumer preferences and the industry must be able to adapt.
Ports receiving ships built with m-MSR technology will not need to be fitted with specialist infrastructure. This is an important distinction with the current proposals for decarbonisation of shipping which foresee the need for significant investment in infrastructure to store and supply alternative zero-carbon fuels.
Ports undertaking maintenance and repair would need additional infrastructure to appropriately manage m-MSR technology and fuel but this is likely to be very few facilities in the UK.
Continued investment and planning to future proof or retrofit infrastructure will ensure ports and harbours are ready to adapt to future changes. This includes the ability to react to disruptors such as severe weather events or potential security threats. Aligning decisions with developments in shared technology platforms and solutions with other parts of the logistics sector, will ensure a seamless supply chain. More specialisation in commodities is expected, with fewer ports handling the majority of goods entering and leaving the UK. Diversification into new activities and business models is also anticipated. The government will incentivise innovation, working with ports to support R&D, foster beneficial partnerships with SMEs and create conditions conducive to testing of new technologies. Stronger links will help leverage the maximum benefits from government and industry investments alike.
See 59 above.
Ports will adapt toward full supply chain integration, maximising land use for ancillary activities. Enhanced transparency and use of real time data will increase operational efficiencies, while pioneering cutting edge technologies such as 3D printing. Keeping pace with the adoption of technologies in connected sectors and engaging with manufacturers and technology companies to capitalise on opportunities for value added services will be crucial. New transport modes and models of use such as drones, autonomous vehicles, platooning of trucks and their impact on the distribution of freight, will need to be incorporated into investment programmes. As evidenced by the 2018 Port Connectivity Study10 (PCS), positive impacts for ports and the wider economy can be realised through investment to improve hinterland access. The sharing of information and closer links between ports and infrastructure delivery bodies will support systems integration. Coastal and short-sea shipping could potentially support land-based modes, reducing emissions and congestion and government will explore the feasibility of this option.
No specific comment.
The maritime sector directly supports sectoral infrastructure such as renewable energy, marine aggregates, communications, offshore oil and gas, and the marine and leisure industries. By 2050, the sector will make the most of opportunities associated with a predicted increase in offshore wind generation, playing a key role in UK energy supply and generation, and acting as hubs for trialling and developing new fuelling options. The UK will remain a major cruise centre, with domestic and international ferry passenger services playing an important role. Continued industry investment will be required to meet this vision but offset by exploiting opportunities such as the growing offshore wind supply chain, the decommissioning of North Sea offshore installations and emerging markets in ancillary and support technologies such as energy storage. Potential government intervention to establish an ultra- deep-water port in the UK could improve capability. Growing data requirements across all areas will lead to increased development of subsea infrastructure and government is committed to being at the forefront of developing the UK's capacity. The growth in 'blue tourism' offers benefits to the marine and leisure sectors (cruises, passenger ferry services).
No specific comment.
As outlined in the National Shipbuilding Strategy government will work with industry to further develop the UK shipbuilding and maritime engineering industry, building on our global reputation for design, innovation, and quality. Developing an enhanced export model while continuing to meet UK military needs is the ambition over the coming decades. Maintaining high quality, specialist skills within the maritime sector and focussing on markets in which the UK can successfully compete such as retro fitment, fitting of advanced technology post build and fit-out of luxury and leisure vessels will be crucial. As a major exporter of maritime equipment and systems, the UK has a platform on which to develop more advanced technologies, and exploit wider sectoral opportunities e.g., wind and tidal energy and coastal and short sea shipping.
Retrofitting of ships with m-MSR technology is likely to be an option in the coming decades and so in addition to potentially providing additional commercial opportunities in shipbuilding and maritime engineering would support and promote high tech skills and expertise.
Closer links with academia, SMEs and maritime colleges will ensure there are the suitably skilled professionals needed for the future. Better use of existing centres of excellence (e.g., National Composite Centre) or development of additional centres if needed, is envisaged. Building on existing successes in the ship and boat building and marine engineering sectors, government will support the industry in developing facilities that maintain the UK's status as a world leader in these areas.
See 26 above.
The UK will continue to be a global shipping destination for both international deep-sea cargo movements and more regional short-sea shipping. The adoption of new technology on vessels and port side, incorporating the latest developments in autonomy, new fuels and supply chain logistics is expected through to 2050. The volume of short-sea shipping and movement of domestic freight between UK ports is likely to increase, potentially becoming a viable alternative to road and rail and boosting opportunities for a wide range of ports. Ports will need to invest to keep pace with technological and environmental advances and vessel types, particularly those involved in short-sea and coastal shipping markets, to ensure increased competitiveness versus land-based freight modes. While there is some uncertainty, it is likely that vessel size will increase requiring upgrades to physical infrastructure such as dredging, quays and cranes to maintain port effectiveness and ensure the UK continues to attract vessel calls on key global shipping routes.
Whilst m-MSR is not envisaged as an appropriate technology for deployment on short-sea shipping as the commercial advantages of deployment of m-MSR will only be realised on oceangoing ships, the use of m-MSR in ports to generate zero emission power to produce alternative zero emission fuels such as ammonia and hydrogen is considered a possibility that could lead to UK supplying such fuels to international ships that use zero-carbon fuels being attracted to call at UK ports.
Security and resilience (66-73)
Maritime security is without question essential to the UK's national interest. Without the security of our ships, ports and services, our prosperity and resilience are at risk. The sector therefore requires policing and regulation at the national and international levels, the UK is committed to strong global partnerships to enforce these. For the UK maritime sector, its security is about providing business continuity free from interference and disruption.
No specific comment.
The security of our maritime domain presents additional challenges compared to those on land, with the UK being one of many nations seeking to deploy diplomatic, military and law enforcement powers. Security threats are constantly evolving, and the UK is committed to being at the forefront of anticipating and responding to these. Technological advances offer opportunities yet also present some of the greatest security challenges, for example cyber-attack. We will develop our national expertise, sharing this with international and other sectoral partners in the common interest.
No specific comment.
Monitoring and control of UK waters will require an intelligence led, multiagency response capable of covering a large geographical area that encompasses resources such as offshore energy generation. The UK will maximise its use of developments in automated systems and technology to ensure effective surveillance and continue to support a rules-based international system (RBIS), working closely with NATO and European partners. The UK will be world leading in maritime domain awareness with regular review of the threat landscape and the processes in place to deter and counter threat activity.
No specific comment.
Technological advances will drive changes to shipping and port operations in the coming decades. Improved cargo and passenger screening, operational efficiencies and more frequent severe weather events are anticipated. UK trade interests will be protected by leading efforts to develop internationally accepted standards and regulations in line with these changes. Port infrastructure will be susceptible to flooding, risking onward disruption to connected services such as electricity, road, and rail. Industry has a role to play in 'investing to protect' at ports and on ships, using innovative solutions, and government will support this through the provision of information to encourage and enable informed investment.
No specific comment.
Global economic power is shifting eastwards and the balance of power may alter. The UK is heavily reliant on imports of food, fuel and other goods which is anticipated to continue to 2050. Preserving freedom of navigation, in particular strategic choke points, will remain a priority. The UK will proactively work to strengthen existing alliances, work collaboratively to monitor contraventions of international agreements like the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), deter acts of aggression and mitigate increasing nationalist agendas by supporting rules-based norms.
No specific comment.
The rate of technological change is likely to make critical national infrastructure increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attack. The UK has committed to lead development of appropriate standards, regulations, and guidance in these fields. The onus is on industry to protect themselves and ensure resilience to cyber threats across the supply chain. However, this will be in lockstep with government, who will provide threat and risk assessments, regulation, and guidance to ensure that collectively, the UK is a centre of excellence for the provision of maritime cyber security solutions.
m-MSR technology deployed on ships will be subject to the highest standards of cyber-security protection.
The global terrorist threat is highly likely to persist to 2050 and beyond. Conflict zones, failed states and the internet will provide a platform for terrorist activity. This may involve attacks on shipping where areas and groups are in close proximity to shipping lanes. Attack methodologies may change through exploitation of new or emerging technologies e.g., drones, and the UK must be alive to evolving threats in its maritime domain, both here and in Overseas Territories. A multi-agency, cross departmental response in close collaboration with international partners and industry is needed, including capacity development in vulnerable countries.
Security is an important consideration for all ships and ports and it is vital to note that one of the distinct advantages of the m-MSR technology being developed for ships and other floating assets is its "fail-safe" nature and that if a reactor were to be removed from the ship it would shut-down to a point it could be no longer considered a viable threat.
The nature of global maritime trade means it will continue to be exploited by criminal groups, including activities such as smuggling and people trafficking. More complex, connected systems will present opportunities for interference and theft but conversely, technology may also help monitoring areas of concern worldwide. Conflict, poor economic development, and climate change in coming decades may lead to more failed or poorly governed states, increasing conditions conducive to criminal and pirate activity. The UK will continue engagement with foreign partners to improve law enforcement and legislative capability and capacity in those areas that suffer from organised criminality and piracy. Government will work closely with industry to keep guidance under review and remain responsive to changes in maritime criminal activity.
The increased emphasis on strengthening security and global enforcement in Maritime 2050 will ensure increased vigilance and the protection of nuclear powered assets and thus mitigate risk of security threats.
 Department for Transport (2019) Maritime 2050: Navigating the Future. January 2019. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/872194/Maritime_2050_Report.pdf