A global network of centres of excellence in marine technology was officially launched on Monday (4 December) at the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The Directors of five regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the global maritime technology centre network.
“The GMN project brings together two of the most important themes that IMO and its member states are pursuing as we move into a new era. These are developing new and innovative technology and building the necessary capacity, the latter especially directed to the developing world, to be in a position to take up that technology and then use it to its best advantage.” – IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.
The network of MTCCS – in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific – is the mainstay of the GMN maritime technology project, run by IMO and funded by the European Union.
The MTCCs are expected to provide leadership in promoting ship energy-efficiency technologies and operations, and the reduction of harmful emissions from ships. Through collaboration and outreach activities at regional level, the MTCCs will help countries develop national maritime energy-efficiency policies and measures, promote the uptake of low-carbon technologies and operations in maritime transport and establish voluntary pilot data-collection and reporting systems.
Speaking at the signing, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim offered his congratulations to all five MTCC representatives, MTCC host institutions, host countries and regions, the European Union, and the IMO Team for the rapid progress made in forming the GMN since the project was first mooted two years ago.
“The GMN project brings together two of the most important themes that IMO and its member states are pursuing as we move into a new era. These are developing new and innovative technology and building the necessary capacity, the latter especially directed to the developing world, to be in a position to take up that technology and then use it to its best advantage,” Mr. Lim said.
“Today, we live in a world in which new technology seems poised to have a transforming impact on all our lives. Shipping is no exception. Technology holds the key to a safer and more sustainable future for shipping,” he said.
The GMN project supports IMO’s work in meeting three key UN Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 13, which includes a commitment to combat climate change and its impacts; SDG 7, which commits to ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all; and SDG 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure. The GMN project promotes international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, in particular energy-efficiency and advanced, cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and fosters investment in energy infrastructure and clean-energy technology.
Following the signing ceremony, MTCC Directors and other representatives from the MTCCS, as well as from the European Union and IMO are meeting in the project steering committee.
On 7 December, the first meeting of the Global Stakeholders Committee will be held. The Global Stakeholders Committee brings together technical experts to share ideas and provide long-term strategic guidance to the project. Participation in the stakeholder committee is on a voluntary basis and no fees are paid.
The five MTCCS are:
• MTCC-Africa – hosted by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Mombasa, Kenya
• MTCC-Asia – hosted by Shanghai Maritime University, China
• MTCC-Caribbean – hosted by University of Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago
• MTCC-Latin America – hosted by International Maritime University of Panama, Panama
• MTCC-Pacific – hosted by Pacific Community, Suva, Fiji
The following signed the MoU: Dr. Robert Kiplimo, Director, (MTCC-Africa); Prof. Jin Yongxing, Director, MTCC-Asia; Ms Vivian Rambarath-Parasram, Director, MTCC-Caribbean; Mr. Eladio Peñaloza, Head, MTCC-Latin America; and Mr. Thierry Nervale, Director, MTCC-Pacific.
Also present at the signing ceremony was Ms Magda Kopczynska, Director, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) of the European Commission.