Governmental R&D funds remains the same for the maritime sector in 2017

The Swedish Transport Administration shall invest at least 55 million SEK in research and innovation in the maritime sector in 2017. That is stated in the agency’s appropriation directions for this year and the sum is unchanged since last year.

Photo: Shutterstock.com

- We were hoping for increased funding for the maritime sector. The government’s own reports states that at least 200 million SEK is needed for research and innovation in the maritime sector, Åsa Burman, Director of Lighthouse, says.

An appropriation is an annual direction from the government that contains regulations and guidelines for the authorities. The Swedish Transport Administration's appropriation for 2017, in the field of communication, states: "Overall, at least 55 million SEK shall be used for research and innovation in the maritime area ... / ... Decisions on funding for research and innovation in the maritime sector shall be done in collaboration with the Swedish Maritime Administration."

2014 and 2015 the appropriations for research and innovation in the maritime sector was 50 million SEK annually. Last year the sum increased to 55 million SEK, same as this year. But more funding is needed.

- Shipping has great potential to help solving the environmental challenges and create employment and export revenues for Sweden. There is also a stated objective from both EU and the Swedish government to shift more freight from road to rail and shipping. But for that to happen, the maritime sector must be given a chance to work with its own challenges, its own carbon footprint and find competitive business models. That requires investments in research and innovation, Åsa Burman says.

- The maritime sector covers a wide range of areas and therefore we also hope for further investments in shipping related R&D from other Agencies such as the Swedish Energy Agency and the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova, Åsa Burman says.