Date Posted:

17 May 2023

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On Friday Freeport East hosted Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology George Freeman MP at the Port of Felixstowe. This was part of the Minister’s wider visit of connected innovation clusters in the east of England.

As part of the visit the Minister was introduced to a selection of innovations being developed across the Freeport East area and briefed on plans to bring together a Freeport East Innovation Cluster that would support development of new technologies whilst also bringing new economic opportunities.

Following his visit, Minister Freeman said:

“The Felixstowe and Harwich Freeport East NetZero Innovation Hub is a flagship project, through which one of the world’s great freight container ports is becoming a hub of green hydrogen, marine conservation, digital Smart Port informatics and autonomous vehicle technology. 

“It’s one of the jewels in the crown of the New Anglia Cleantech Cluster, on the frontline of decarbonising ports, shipping and freight distribution for sustainable economic growth.”

Steve Beel, Chief Executive at Freeport East commented:

“Minister Freeman has made very clear his passion for supporting science, innovation and technology and it was a pleasure to welcome him to Freeport East to discuss how we can work together. 

“Freeport East has placed innovation at the heart of our plans, whether it be through development of a green hydrogen hub, supporting the application of new technologies and processes in some of our key economic sectors, or strengthening engagement with our skills providers on where new opportunities can flow from future areas of innovation.”


During the visit, the Minister was given an update on the Freeport East proposal for a Green Hydrogen Hub, including their latest published analysis on “500MW by 2030”.

The Port of Felixstowe were able to update the Minister on their latest trials of automated vehicles as well as developments for 5G networks and green hydrogen production within the port.

Harwich Haven Authority showcased their latest dredging technology, the TIAMAT, which significantly reduces the environmental impact, GHG emissions and the cost of dredging works.

Entopy Ltd, a Suffolk-based start-up in the technology sector, shared their approach to digital twins and innovative deep-data analytics, and the benefits it can bring across a range of sectors including trade, logistics and renewable energy.

Notes to Editors:

Freeport East is one of eight new Freeports in England having received final government approvals on 10th January 2023. It will be a hub for global trade and national regeneration as well as creating a hotbed for innovation that will have impact across the UK.

With its unique global links and existing innovative sectoral clusters, Freeport East will attract inward international investment and drive domestic growth, propelling the country’s economy forward.

Covering Britain’s busiest container port, two major ferry ports and located close to the East Coast green energy cluster, Freeport East offers a unique combination of advantages to benefit traders, manufacturers and clean energy suppliers. It will create 13,500 new jobs and generate a Gross Value Added (GVA) of £5.5 billion over 10 years.

Government’s freeport policy comprises a mix of mechanisms designed to facilitate economic growth and levelling up.  These include targeted tax benefits to bring forward key development sites, a novel customs regime to facilitate customs site development, and targeted Government support and regulatory engagement to unlock barriers to innovation and strengthen trade and inward investment opportunities.

For more information, please visit

The Founding Members of Freeport East Limited are Essex County Council, Suffolk County Council, Tendring District Council, Mid Suffolk District Council, East Suffolk District Council, The Port of Felixstowe, Gateway 14, Harwich International Port, New Anglia LEP and the University of Essex.

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