The Belfast Maritime Consortium, which is led by Artemis Technologies, has joined Maritime UK, the umbrella body for the UK’s £46.1bn maritime industry.

The application for the membership was approved on 29 July by the National Council.

The Belfast Maritime Consortium is a 13-partner syndicate of businesses, academia and local government.

The consortium will participate in the work programme of Maritime UK, which includes support to develop the regional cluster via the Regional Cluster Development Programme of the organisation.

With the membership, the programme will enter the Northern Ireland region.

In June, the Northern Ireland-based consortium announced plans to develop zero-emission ferries for maritime transportation.

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The consortium, which also includes Belfast Harbour, Bombardier, as well as local universities and public bodies, seeks to develop an environmentally friendly vessel that can carry up to 350 passengers.

The project has secured a £33m innovation grant from the UK Research and Innovation, a government-owned body that supports science and research projects.

Maritime UK chair Harry Theochari said: “We are delighted to welcome the Belfast Maritime Consortium into membership.

“Our members were impressed and enthused to receive a presentation from Iain Percy of Artemis Technologies at its National Council meeting last week and to see for itself the world-leading and innovative work they are engaged with to deliver zero-carbon-emissions ferries. Their membership increases the depth and capacity of our organisation and we very much look forward to working with them in the years ahead.

“Our job is to bring together national trade bodies with regional cluster organisations and partners focused on delivery. There could be no better demonstration of our commitment to tackling the challenge of climate change within the sector than by bringing such a significant new grouping of businesses aboard.”