The 2050 Maritime Innovation Hub, a collaborative initiative led by the Port of Tyne and partners including Connected Places Catapult, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC), Nissan, and the Department for Transport, announces the launch of the Venture Connect Green Investment Programme. A green enterprise development scheme and the first of its kind in the region, the Venture Connect Green Investment Programme will further the growth of innovative businesses in the North East of England.
The Venture Connect Green Investment Programme (Venture Connect) will provide a unique opportunity to link local businesses developing solutions for decarbonisation in maritime, including university spin-offs and start-ups seeking investment, with responsible investors wishing to support a more sustainable, low-carbon maritime industry.
Venture Connect aims to accelerate the decarbonisation journey for maritime organisations by funding the development of innovative solutions for important and currently unanswered maritime challenges. It will also support the maritime industry’s transition to adopt Maritime 2050 targets, by sharing the expertise and commercial opportunities to apply new, green technologies and solutions in their business operations.
“The North East is well known for its tech start-up scene and Venture Connect will build on this. We want the Green Investment Programme to inspire green growth and ambition locally and across the wider maritime industry, delivering real results through collaboration, investment, and clear commercial opportunities,” says Dr Jo North, the Technology and Transformation Director at Port of Tyne.
“The Maritime Innovation Hub has an outstanding record in the North East for advancing innovative developments in the maritime and logistics sectors – to ensure sustainability, this activity needs to be matched to long-term investment from responsible investors to enable such developments to expand and reach scale. Venture Connect will act as a much needed and exciting new platform to bring investors and innovators together,” says Julia Prescot, the Deputy Chair at Port of Tyne.
“It is great to see Venture Connect launch whilst the spotlight is firmly on the North East for the start of Maritime Innovation Week. It is vitally important that we support clusters of innovation and investment to futureproof our maritime economy. Our hope is that this initiative can contribute to the maritime sector’s thriving innovation ecosystem in and around the Port of Tyne,” says Mark Wray, Ecosystem Director for Maritime, and Ports at Connected Places Catapult.
Since its launch in 2019, the 2050 Maritime Innovation Hub has built a strong track record for sustainable innovation in the North East of England, providing an independent forum to further the development of a technologically advanced, low-carbon maritime industry.
Recent successes include hosting Maritime Innovation Week, a unique festival of maritime innovation now in its second year, Innovation Live a business pitch competition for North East entrepreneurs and regular industry sprint workshops. A Game Jam hackathon is also taking place during Maritime Innovation Week 2023 during which teams of developers will gamify Port of Tyne strategic goals for the chance to win a cash prize.