Home » Breaking News, Maritime » IMO launches maritime technology cooperation network across 5 regions

The  International Maritime Organization (IMO) has officially launched a global network of centers of excellence in marine technology that are expected to lead in promoting ship energy-efficiency technologies and operations, and the reduction of harmful emissions from ships.

The five regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centers (MTCCs) were launched December 4 at the headquarters of the IMO in the United Kingdom.

The network of MTCCS—in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific—is the mainstay of the Global MTCC Network (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.

The directors of the five regional MTCCs signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish the global maritime technology center network.

Signatories to the MOU included Dr. Robert Kiplimo, director of MTCC-Africa, which is hosted by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Mombasa, Kenya. They also included Prof. Jin Yongxing, director of MTCC-Asia, hosted by Shanghai Maritime University, China; and Vivian Rambarath-Parasram, director of MTCC-Caribbean, hosted by University of Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago. The last two were Eladio Peñaloza, head of MTCC-Latin America, hosted by International Maritime University of Panama, Panama; and Thierry Nervale, director of MTCC-Pacific, hosted by Pacific Community, Suva, Fiji.

Speaking at the signing, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “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.”

“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, the 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 December 7, 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.

Photo: Adam Jenkins

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