27 September 2012

Investment and Innovation


The acquisition of the Legacy Group in the US by investment firm Intercore Energy, as reported in Sustainable Shipping on the 26th of September, could signal a new perspective on marine clean tech from investment firms. Though the Legacy Group is primarily focussed upon hybrid marine propulsion systems, there may well be a portent here for investment in other forms of marine clean tech given the new era of regulatory certainty surrounding sulphur emissions. The landscape of the relationship between regulation and innovation has changed in the last few months. The implementation of the North American Emissions Control Area (ECA) and the vote by the European Parliament to enforce the limit of 0.1% in its ECA’s has given the shipping industry its challenge and the timetable to meet it. Judging by the enquiries we are receiving the ship owning and operating community is in no doubt about the options available to it and “inaction” seems now to be understood to be a non-option. Given this new landscape it seems likely that further investment in technological solutions is likely. A clear legislative timetable driving demand, an equally clear commercial and environmental benefit would seem an ideal arena for investment to drive further technological advances and innovation.