January 25, 2005

EU meeting on maritime R&D

It's being launched today, but the European Union's "Waterborne Transport Technology Platform" is not some kind of hydrogen powered experimental vessel. It's just Eurospeak for a new consultative committee. Be that as it may, major players in the European Union waterborne transport sector meet in Bremen today to launch the "Platform" and start defining future maritime industry research needs.

The Waterborne Transport Technology Platform involves industry, national authorities, regulatory bodies, research centers and universities. It will seek to stimulate more effective public and private investment in research and development and improve the coherence of research activities at European, national, regional and local level.

The European Commission will be represented at today's launch by its Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen.

Today's launch is just the latest in a series of "Technology Platforms" created with the support of the European Union's Sixth Framework Program for Research and Technological Development.

European research in the maritime sector already targets issues such as preventing maritime oil spills and improving the evacuation of passengers in the event of accidents, as well as more basic research into hydrodynamics, which can lead to more energy efficiency in the marine transport sector. In the Sixth Framework Program for Research and Technological Development, Euros 153 million has so far been made available for maritime transport research.

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