The aim of a new funding priority in the context of the Maritime Research Programme of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action is to help create the technological basis for the decarbonisation of shipping and the shipbuilding industry in a targeted manner. €300 million is available for the new funding priority MARITIME.zeroGHG.

Federal Government Coordinator for the Maritime Industry and for Tourism Dieter Janecek said: "In Germany and Europe, we will increasingly build on more climate-friendly propulsion and alternative fuels for shipping and thus improve the international competitiveness of our shipyards. Our new funding priority in the context of the Maritime Research Programme creates the basis for the development, and in particular the practical demonstration, of more efficient and climate-friendly shipping technologies. We are thus paving the way for climate-neutral ships and for a new era in the maritime sector. This will safeguard the innovative capabilities of Germany as an industrial centre and creates jobs that are fit for the future.

"This year’s National Maritime Conference, which will take place in Bremen on 14 and 15 September, will show the importance of our research funding for technological progress in the maritime sector. The Maritime Research Programme will be represented at the event with several interesting forward-looking projects."

The German Federal Government has been advocating more climate action in shipping at international and national level for many years. In July 2023, the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted a new strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The aim is to reach climate neutrality in maritime transport by 2050.

MARITIME.zeroGHG is to tap the full potential of environmentally friendly marine technologies to reduce emissions that damage the climate. This covers the whole shipping life cycle. As the remaining service life of existing fleets is long, in some cases exceeding 20 years, alternative fuels and innovative propulsion systems are being tested especially in terms of the potential for retrofitting.

Maritime research programmes of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action:

The Economic Affairs Ministry provides funding to the maritime sector in the context of the Maritime Research Programme and the funding line Real-time Technologies for Maritime Safety for the development of innovative products in forward-looking areas of shipbuilding and shipping, the offshore industry and marine technologies.

The two funding programmes totalling around €90 million annually help to strengthen the maritime sector in international competition and to advance the mitigation of climate change and environmental protection. At the same time, they contribute to securing qualified jobs in Germany.