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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s IMOCARES Hosts Technology and Decarbonization Event

The IMOCARES project, funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, hosted its main event, ‘  CARES: Technology and Decarbonization’ Workshop on June 24th -25th 2024 The multiple-day agenda included updates and discussions on the impact and outcomes of the IMO CARES Project with updates on the move to decarbonise ports and domestic shipping in developing regions. The event took place on the side-lines of the Technical Cooperation Committee at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London.

The event highlighted the work of the IMO CARES project, and IMO CARES Connects Technology Global Challenge, while engaging with key stakeholders on how to support technology transfer to those in need, and notably had over 30 participants throughout the multiple day event. Key attendees included Dr. Jose Matheickal, Head of Technical Co-Operation Division, as well as the Heads of the five Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCC); Ervin Vargas Wilson  of MTCC Latin America, Vivian Parasram of MTCC Caribbean, Lydia Muthoni Ngugi of MTCC Africa, Jens Krueger of MTCC Pacific, and Wei Ruan of MTCC Asia.

Mr. Kamal Al Junaidi, General Manager of Maritime Transport Policies & International Organisations Affairs of the Transport General Authority (TGA) provided the keynote speech on Day One, and highlighted:  

“The implementation of the IMO CARES Global Challenge marks the culmination of two years of work and signifies the most crucial phase of the IMOCARES project: the tangible demonstration of technological solutions to address decarbonization challenges. The proposals presented here today offer the opportunity to develop long-term solutions to key issues in the maritime sector.”

Anton Rhodes, Project Manager for IMOCARES presented the projects work, and where it hopes to develop in the future. This included informing on the continued mission to bring global north and south together to meet the IMO GHG levels and to support SIDS (Small Developing Island Stated) and LDCs (Lesser Developed Countries) to ensure no Member State is left behind.

Day Two of the event included a sponsored lunch by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for all participants of the IMO Technical Committee and key IMO CARES stakeholders. The day continued with, ‘Domestic Shipping & Decarbonisation in Developing Regions’ which brought together maritime experts to share their knowledge and discuss solutions to key issues facing decarbonization in the maritime industry. The main topics covered array of the challenges SIDS and LDCs face and how those can be turned into strengths with the correct approach. This was followed by a Q&A where panellists from the various global MTCCs shared their insights into specific issues faced. A second panel examined the role of technology in shipping and looked into how SIDS and LDCs could prepare for the influx of new technology into the industry.

The event also featured the IMO CARES Maritime Technology Global Challenge, which is an innovative competition that is aimed at maritime technology providers from across the world who can offer decarbonisation solutions for ports and/or vessels under 5,000gt as well as other interested stakeholders. The applicants for the four countries featured in the project were St Kitts and Nevis, Namibia, Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago. The participating countries were invited to submit innovative decarbonisation solutions for ports and domestic vessels in Africa and the Caribbean and encouraged to tailor their entries to the needs of the specific countries in both regions where the solutions will be deployed. The winning submissions of the IMOCARES Global Technology Challenge will receive funding to develop their proposal in collaboration with the IMO.

The winning proposals included:

  • Strategic Innovative Initiatives Project designing storm proofing for wind turbines

  • Bergmann Marine proposed Digiport, smart shipping technology

  • CMS Technology proposed BioH2Energy Shore to ship power supply  

IMO CARES focuses on fostering innovation, collaboration, and practical solutions to support developing countries while improving the global shipping industry. The Kingdom is actively aiding LDCs and SIDS by financing initiatives like IMO CARES and the IMO CARES Marine Technology Challenge. The IMO CARES project and the events it hosts demonstrates the Kingdom's goal of fostering international collaboration to advance IMO's objectives effectively. Through continued support of the Kingdom the IMO CARES project will look to ensure that no one is left behind on the path to decarbonisation.

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