Innovative Liverpool City Region company secures grant to put the wind back into shipping industry’s sails

  • Wirral firm’s high-tech ‘AirWing’ provides up to 30% fuel saving

  • 20m high prototype set to operate on trans-Atlantic cargo vessel next year

  • Developed by team with Formula 1 and America’s Cup experience

An innovative Wirral company is developing a high-tech wind powered system to help reduce the carbon footprint of commercial shipping.

Experts from the world of Formula 1 and the America’s Cup make up the team developing GT Green Technologies ultra-efficient ‘AirWing™’ which the company says could reduce a ship’s fuel consumption by up to 30% – dramatically reducing maritime emissions.

Innovate UK’s Liverpool City Region Launchpad programme has now awarded nearly £100,000 to the company, which is set to install its first 20m high prototype on a 130m long trans-Atlantic cargo ship next year.

Picture of what the ship could look like.


The funding for the project was announced at a special event to celebrate the first year of the partnership between Liverpool City Region and Innovate UK.

If all goes to plan, GT Green Technologies hopes to establish a manufacturing base in the city region producing even larger versions of the metallic and composite wing, which is deployed vertically on the ship’s deck and can be laid flat when needed.

The company, which scooped Start-up of the Year at the 2023 UK Maritime Awards, is not alone in developing wind propulsion systems for global shipping but they are confident their system will be among the most efficient.

George Thompson

George Thompson

CEO George Thompson says: “AirWing™ is completely novel and highly efficient offering a significant amount of thrust from a compact and lightweight unit.

“Between one and three units could be deployed per ship and our simulators are showing a 10% – 30% fuel saving, depending on the route, the type of ship and the number of devices.

“Our first installation is confirmed for 2024 with others in the pipeline.

“The International Maritime Organisation has recently introduced measures to reduce the carbon emissions of shipping in steps up to net-zero by 2050.”

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