Government minister Anna Soubry has heaped praise on Britain’s marine and maritime sectors and urged international businesses to invest in “the U.K.’s world-leading infrastructure and expertise”.
The Minister of State for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise delivered her rousing endorsement to hundreds of delegates at INVESTINBLUE, the showcase for the U.K. maritime industry held as part of the International Festival for Business 2016 in Liverpool.
Her message was that Britain was justifiably proud of its centuries old maritime industry and every effort needed to be made to maintain its status as a global power. “From headline-hitting polar research ships to vast offshore wind farms, the U.K.’s marine and maritime sector boosts the economy and creates jobs across the country. INVESTINBLUE is a great opportunity to encourage businesses from all over the world to invest in the U.K.’s world-leading infrastructure and expertise.
“This festival is all about trade, and we know that 95 percent of the volume of trade passes through Great British ports, and fabulous cities like Liverpool were built because of their access to the sea. This is a sector that is absolutely critical to the British economy and we need to make sure we do all we can to grow it,” she added.
Peter Green, Chief Executive of event organizer National Maritime, said INVESTINBLUE had been more than a year in the planning and from the outset it was clear how critical it was to take a collaborative approach to supporting maritime industries.
“We coined the phrase Connecting Maritime Opportunities and #maritimeconnection to illustrate the importance of bringing together enthusiastic and like-minded professionals from all corners of this diverse industry to take on the challenge of ensuring that the U.K. remains a global maritime power. I believe we succeeded in successfully combining an inspiring speaker program alongside a busy international maritime exhibition,” Green said.
Day one speakers
Guy Platten, CEO of U.K. Chamber of Shipping, delivered an upbeat opening message to delegates, urging the maritime industry to be ambitious and optimistic. He emphasized the need for the U.K. to seize the opportunities for growth in a global marketplace by continuing to champion our world-class maritime services, training and businesses.
Anita Bradshaw, COO of Green Sea Guard Ltd, outlined how her firm has developed a unique remote emissions monitoring product for ships. She discussed her work to help cut emissions from shipping to help clean up UK waters and the creation of an exciting new London-based shipyard in the Royal Albert Docks.
Delegates were offered a fascinating insight into the Thames Tideway Tunnel project by Roger Bailey, Asset Management Director, Tideway. London’s ‘super sewer’ is the biggest infrastructure project ever undertaken by the UK water industry and will create thousands of jobs during its estimated eight year construction.
The day concluded with a topical debate between expert academics from Edinburgh Napier, UCL and Cambridge Universities along with consulting engineers ARUP about countries resilience to storm surges and floods. Delegates later enjoyed an evening of professional networking overlooking the River Mersey.
Day two speakers
A local Liverpool focus was provided with a welcome from Cllr Phil Davies, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Lead for Economic Development and Energy and Leader of Wirral Council.
He was followed by Mark Whitworth, CEO of Peel Ports, who spoke about Liverpool’s illustrious history and the exciting future of one of the largest, busiest and most diverse ports in the UK. Delegates were fascinated to learn more about Liverpool2, a new £300 million deepwater container terminal.
David Jones, Project Director of Marine Energy Pembrokeshire, discussed new ways of harnessing tidal power to provide a secure and sustainable source of renewable electricity with efficiency and minimal impact on the environment.
Andy White, CEO and Managing Director, CTruk Group, spoke about reinvigorating the historic boatbuilding industry in his hometown through the establishment of CTruk Boats, producers of robust multipurpose work platforms.
Finally Kevin Forshaw, Associate Director, Innovation and Enterprise, National Oceanography Centre, which is part of the Natural Environment Research Council, provided insight into its remit to provide leadership and national capability in the marine sciences, from coast to deep-ocean.
“INVESTINBLUE reflected the growing recognition that, as an island nation, the U.K. maritime sector is vital to the future growth of the U.K. economy,” Green said. “Here at National Maritime we are passionate about engaging with industry professionals who are looking to advance the cause of the maritime industry and share the challenge of ensuring that we remain a global maritime center of excellence.”