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All-electric ships may set sail from Greece

The National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece, is leading research on all-electric ships (AESs). The EU is keen to reinforce Greece's strong maritime tradition and support its research in this exciting new area.

Greece has been known for its maritime tradition for millennia, and today boasts some of the largest ports in the Mediterranean, such as those in the cities of Piraeus, Thessaloniki and Patras. Against this backdrop, the EU-funded project 'Marine electrical initiative' (MARINELIVE) is establishing a centre of excellence in marine electrical engineering in the Greek capital, Athens.

The centre would be located at the School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering of the NTUA (NAME-NTUA). Part of the centre is also in the European Commission building dedicated to its AES research and technology drive.

To develop environment-friendly waterborne transport, MARINELIVE has gathered a powerful interdisciplinary research team to conduct advanced AES research, building two-way exchanges with leading European institutions. The research has revolved around electric equipment, electric grids, ship automation, ship control and propulsion systems. MARINELIVE has also recruited qualified researchers of Greek origin from abroad, a positive step that combats the brain drain caused by the ongoing economic crisis.

Beyond offering new employment opportunities, the project team has acquired and installed new equipment for relevant research. In an effort to disseminate the project's results, the team is organising global workshops, conferences and events that spread excellence on the topic.

Through these actions, MARINELIVE is enhancing the capabilities of NAME-NTUA to conduct advanced research and attract future research projects in marine electrical engineering. It is reinforcing the institution's position as a leader in naval architecture and marine engineering while advancing AES applications.

Greece has always had an edge in the maritime and naval fields, which constitute an important part of its industry and economy. This cutting-edge technology could potentially reinvigorate its economy while adopting more environmentally friendly solutions in waterborne transport. Thanks to these efforts, an exciting future may lie ahead for this important sector on a global scale.

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