At the end of last year, on 15 December 2021 it was announced that Business Finland has granted the project EUR 20 million in funding in the challenge competition for leading companies. Then it was time to roll up the sleeves and prepare for the launch of the ZEM ecosystem. An official launch event was held virtually on 7 April with close to 150 stakeholders.
Funded ecosystem projects
Three ecosystem projects received funding from the April funding call. These projects are MASCOT coordinated by VTT, Silent Engine coordinated by University of Vaasa and CASEMATE coordinated by University of Oulu.
The next funding call was held in September and at this point two new projects have received funding. These projects are called Green Engine CFD led by VTT and HENNES led by Aalto University.
All five projects go under ZEM theme “Technologies enabling introduction of green fuels” and they contribute to the Zero Emission Marine mission in many different ways.
Annual Seminar was held in November
On 17 November, we had our first Annual Seminar in Wärtsilä’s Sustainable Technology Hub (STH) in Vaasa. The event gathered around 80 members of the ecosystem both live and online to listen learnings from the past year and share insights together. Big thanks to everyone who joined or gave us insightful presentations! Stay tuned as next year our Annual Seminar will be held in Turku.
Continuous development in the ecosystem
The first year of ZEM has been full of fruitful discussions and meetings of which many has led to project ideas and proposals. It has been great to notice that the word about ZEM has started to spread around the marine ecosystem.
Competences from different areas like green fuel production, automated and optimised operations, and outcome-based business models is still very much needed. Some of the ZEM themes are directly at the core of Wärtsilä’s business but in some topics the effort of the ecosystem is in a ground-breaking role to reach success in the challenges of maritime decarbonisation.
What to expect in 2023
Next year ZEM will focus more on partnering with companies, customers, and suppliers, as 2022 was chosen to focus mostly on kicking-off research projects, which usually tend to last longer.
We are learning everyday about how to reach the right players in the ecosystem and get more companies actively involved.
“We are putting more and more effort and focus to expand the open dialogue between industry players to find suitable ecosystem partners and new projects under the ZEM umbrella.”Kenneth Widell, ZEM project manager at Wärtsilä
In 2023, we are going to arrange info sessions for companies to learn more about ZEM and the funding opportunities it offers. Hopefully you can also see us in different events in Finland!
There are three opportunities to apply for funding for an ecosystem project in 2023. The first Business Finland funding call is on 13 January, and the others on 13 April and 13 September. If you have a project idea, don’t hesitate to contact us at an early phase to get you onboard fast!
The Zero Emission Marine team would like to thank everyone for the successful first year of ZEM ecosystem – it has been a pleasure! Have a safe and relaxing holiday season and let’s keep up the good work in 2023!