A supervisory board has been appointed to oversee the Belfast Maritime Consortium’s project to develop zero-emission ferries in the Northern Irish capital. Earlier this year, the 13-partner syndicate, headed by Artemis Technologies, won a £33m (US$44m) government innovation grant for the plans from UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places (SIP) Fund.
Working closely with SIP program director Prof. Mark Gillan, the consortium says the supervisory board will provide strategic leadership and support to its UKRI project, and will oversee its successful completion.
Former UK transport minister Nusrat Ghani MP will chair the supervisory board which will include members from consortium partners: Dr Iain Percy OBE, CEO of Artemis Technologies; Nick Laird, Director of advanced air programs, Spirit AeroSystems; and Joe O’Neill, CEO, Belfast Harbour.
The board will be completed by independent members Dr Jayne Brady MBE, digital innovation commissioner, Belfast City Region Deal; David Morant, MD, Scorpio UK, and Harry Theochari, partner and global head of transport at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.
Speaking ahead of the board’s first meeting, Ghani commented, “It is a pleasure to be appointed chair of the supervisory board, which will play an important role in overseeing the successful completion of the Belfast Maritime Consortium’s project. Including private funding from consortium partners, the total investment in Belfast will be around £60m [US$80m] over the next four years. It will create an initial 125 research and development jobs, and lead to more than 1,000 jobs in the region over the next 10 years. However, the impact will go much further. The zero-emission fast ferries to be designed and built in Belfast will herald a revolution in green maritime transport that will have an impact around the world. As countries across the globe seek solutions to become carbon net-zero, the UK will lead the way, with Belfast at the center. It is a privilege to play our part.”