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Business & Economy

UK’s first maritime innovation hub opens at Port of Tyne

A new maritime research and development hub has been opened at the Port of Tyne in South Shields by the Secretary of State for Transport, The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP.

The centre, named the “2050 Innovation Hub”, is the first of its kind in the UK and will focus on the development of solutions to the technological challenges that face both the maritime industry and wider logistics sector.

The project came together with the support of a number of partner organisations, including Port of Tyne, PD Ports, Nissan, Connected Places Catapult, Accenture, Royal HaskoningDHV and Ubisoft, who will continue to collaborate on research and development at the centre.

At the official opening, Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling said: “Ports are vital to the UK’s economy and the Port of Tyne is no different – driving trade and supporting key businesses, such as Tetley and Nissan, to deliver to their consumers.

“The British maritime sector is world famous for driving innovation. The Innovation Hub is a fantastic way to increase efficiency, making our ports more attractive to businesses at home and abroad as well as ensuring the UK continues to lead the way in maritime technology for decades to come.”

It is hoped that the hub will facilitate collaboration between tech partners, as well as attracting more young people into careers in the maritime sector.

Matt Beeton, Port of Tyne CEO, said: “We’re delighted to launch the UK’s first Innovation Hub and welcome the support of all our partners in driving innovation for the benefit not just of the maritime sector, but also the global logistics and supply chain.

“It’s important that we harness skills and innovation from all industrial sectors to develop our global proposition and enhance our competitiveness.”

The news of the opening comes days after Port of Tyne announceda profit increase of £2.1 million and a new 30-year plan for success in line with the governments’ Maritime 2050 Strategy.

Port of Tyne’s 2050 Innovation Hub is also aligned with the Government’s strategy, and it will work closely with the Department for Transport and MarRI-UK to ensure the work carried out can benefit the industry on the whole.