Hub Blog


Empowering Maritime Innovation

Venture Connect Green Investment Programme Unveiled at Maritime Innovation Week

In the realm of maritime and ports, where challenges loom large and opportunities for innovation abound, the pursuit of sustainable, equitable growth for our communities and economies takes center stage.

At the forefront of this transformative journey, the 2050 Maritime Innovation Hub, led by the forward-thinking Port of Tyne, in collaboration with esteemed partners including Connected Places Catapult, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC), Nissan, and the Department for Transport, proudly announces the launch of the Venture Connect Green Investment Programme.

Venture Connect Green Investment Programme

This groundbreaking initiative stands as a pivotal milestone for the North East of England, offering local businesses a distinctive opportunity to foster innovation and drive decarbonization within the maritime industry. This pioneering green enterprise development scheme is the first of its kind in the region, serving as a vital bridge between visionary local businesses, including university spin-offs and start-ups, developing innovative solutions for maritime decarbonization, and responsible investors passionate about supporting a sustainable, low-carbon maritime sector. Venture Connect is set to revolutionize the industry by facilitating collaboration, encouraging investment, and providing invaluable commercial opportunities to expedite the creation of innovative solutions addressing pressing maritime challenges.

“The North East is well known for its tech start-up scene, and Venture Connect will build on this. We want the Green Investment Programme to inspire green growth and ambition locally and across the wider maritime industry, delivering real results through collaboration, investment, and clear commercial opportunities,” says Dr. Jo North, the Technology and Transformation Director at Port of Tyne.

“The Maritime Innovation Hub has an outstanding record in the North East for advancing innovative developments in the maritime and logistics sectors. To ensure sustainability, this activity needs to be matched with long-term investment from responsible investors to enable such developments to expand and reach scale. Venture Connect will act as a much-needed and exciting new platform to bring investors and innovators together,” says Julia Prescot, the Deputy Chair at Port of Tyne.

Connected Places Catapult's Vision

Connected Places Catapult recognizes the maritime and ports sector as the gateway to addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing the world today. This sector not only poses significant challenges but also presents unparalleled innovation opportunities. CPC's vision is deeply rooted in the belief that innovation holds the key to delivering sustainable, equitable growth that benefits our communities and economies.

“It is great to see Venture Connect launch while the spotlight is firmly on the North East for the start of Maritime Innovation Week. It is vitally important that we support clusters of innovation and investment to futureproof our maritime economy. Our hope is that this initiative can contribute to the maritime sector’s thriving innovation ecosystem in and around the Port of Tyne,” says Mark Wray, Ecosystem Director for Maritime and Ports at Connected Places Catapult.

Maritime Innovation Week

Connected Places Catapult stands as a vital partner of Maritime Innovation Week, a celebration of maritime innovation that unites industry leaders, visionaries, and innovators. As part of this event, you are invited to tune in online to hear Mark Wray's speech on "Disruptive Technology - How can it positively impact our Ports" on Thursday, November 9, 2023, from 11:50 AM to 12:35 PM. Mark Wray's insights promise to shed light on the transformative potential of disruptive technology in shaping the future of ports and maritime practices.

As we navigate the challenges of our time, the Innovation Hub, Port of Tyne, Connected Places Catapult, and the broader Maritime Innovation Week community stand as beacons of progress, driving change and inspiring a future where innovation transforms challenges into opportunities. Together, we are charting a course toward a maritime industry that not only adapts to change but leads the way in shaping a sustainable, equitable world for generations to come.

Get Involved

There is still time to participate online and explore more about this transformative project at Maritime Innovation Week. This groundbreaking initiative represents a significant leap toward a greener, more innovative maritime industry, and the entire region is cordially invited to be a part of this exciting and promising journey toward a sustainable maritime future.

Join us online at