The global shipping amounts to about 3% of the total CO2 emissions and, in addition, other negative emissions are generated. Considering the dominant current and future role of maritime shipping in overall transportation (90% of the goods shipping) there is a pressing need for reducing its impact by suggesting sustainable solutions that cut emissions and contribute to a move towards more sustainable transport. In order to develop and promote commercially feasible, near-to-market innovations it is important to bring together industry, research, sectorial professional associations and government.
Founded in 2008 by four leading maritime companies in Denmark together with the Danish Maritime Authority, today Green Ship of the Future consists of roughly 40 maritime organisations. This network which is privately funded by participating entities such as industry, SME, universities as well as technical centers and experts aims at sharing expertise and sharing skills for the development, implementation and evaluation of environmentally friendly and energy-efficient technologies within the maritime industry. This is done by conducting joint major studies, partner projects and providing forums for informal networking. Major studies investigate topics relating to a specific ship type and aim at integrating different technical solutions or evaluating their economic aspects. Partner projects demonstrate and develop specific components or technologies for energy efficient design and low carbon solutions in areas like ship design, machinery, propulsion, operation and logistics. Project partners join and cooperate with the Green Ship working group and at least one of the participants must have a Danish affiliated company.
The partner companies in Green Ship of the Future represent all relevant actors in the value chain such as ship-owners, suppliers, manufacturers, R&D institutions, authorities, consultants and classification societies, meaning that many different elements are coming together: research, development, demonstration, innovation, education, training and dissemination of information . Bringing all these fields of expertise together offers a very strong platform for networking and sharing expertise. Based on the high commitment of each partner a trust-based environment within the projects, major studies and informal networking is created, which is the most important aspect of Green Ship of the Future
The Green Ship of the Future qualifies for an estimated level 7 on the generic maturity scale GML since by actively sharing information and comprising all major actors of the value chain the concept is validated at full scale. Due to its focus on the development of near-to-market solutions, which requires relations of trust between the participating companies, the extension of the network is limited. It does not appear to be the intention to extend the partner network beyond Denmark in the near future. Nevertheless, the concept and structure of Green Ship of the Future as an industry-driven network which seeks to combine eco-innovation with economic benefits for the participating companies, has the potential to be replicated in other fields.