The College of Commissioners of the European Commission has taken an important step towards zero-emission waterborne transport. The College adopted a Memorandum of Understanding on a public-private partnership between the European Commission and the Waterborne Technology Platform under Horizon Europe, which was signed during the European Research and Innovation Days on 23 June 2021.

NOW GmbH, as a federally owned programme management association in the technological field of sustainable mobility, is involved as an observer in the public interest of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Within the scope of the partnership, emission-free solutions for all ship types and services in the maritime sector will be presented by 2030, with which waterborne transport can be made completely emission-free by 2050. The partnership will be instrumental in developing answers to pressing environmental and societal issues. It is also expected to further strengthen the competitiveness of European companies in the growing market of environmentally friendly maritime technologies and enable them to acquire larger shares in markets that are currently dominated by non-European competitors.

Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and other air and water pollutants requires breakthrough solutions and coordinated joint action. Uniting the fragmented water transport sector requires long-term vision, strategy and coordination. It will not be possible to achieve the goals by following a “business as usual” approach. Therefore, the partnership will serve the crucial function of coordinating initiatives, avoiding the unnecessary duplication of efforts, and of delivering results more quickly.

The partnership brings together a substantial part of the European water transport sector, including the European maritime technology sector (shipyards and equipment suppliers), the largest container transport companies in the world, prominent research and cluster organisations, academia, classification societies, the inland waterways sector as well as associations that represent the wider water transport sector.

Download “Memorandum of Understand (MoU) for a Co-Programmed Partnership under the framework of Horizon Europe” (PDF)


WATERBORNE TP is an industry-specific technology platform for continuous exchange between stakeholders such as classification societies, shipbuilders, shipowners, outfitters, infrastructure and service providers, universities and research institutes, as well as EU institutions and Member States ( The members and associate members of the Waterborne TP come from 18 maritime and inland waterway countries in the EU. Other Waterborne Technology Platform members also include industry associations from across the EU.

For enquiries about joining and participating more closely in the “Zero-Emission Waterborne Transport” partnership, as well as other Waterborne TP activities, please contact: Jaap Gebraad, Managing Director of Waterborne TP: Email: , Tel: +32 493 835 626