U.S. MARITIME INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS MORE R&D FUNDING
A report released this week by the U.S. Maritime Administration calls for increased funding for maritime infrastructure research and development.
The report, “Maritime Research and Technology Development,” said more maritime research and development is needed to improve the movement of cargo and people. The federal government is concerned that, at current levels of cargo growth, the maritime infrastructure could become gridlocked by 2020.
“Increased investment in research and development efforts is critical to enabling necessary improvements in the marine transportation system,” said Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta. “We must meet the nation’s projected increased cargo flow demands in an efficient, safe, secure and environmentally responsible manner.”
The report points out that funding for maritime research and development is far less than other transport modes. It also recommends the implementation of research and development programs through “cost-sharing” between federal and state governments and the private sector.
Maritime Administrator William G. Schubert said he’s studying options to build a research and development program for the commercial maritime industry at MarAd. The program will emphasize cost-shared cooperative research and technology development efforts between government and industry, he said.