A project of the magnitude of HERCULES-2 is only possible through the active involvement of all actors in the area of marine engines: manufacturers, suppliers, research organisations, end-users.

The participants in each Work Package were assembled based on excellence in:

  • Product or service development (industrial partners)
  • Research (Institutes and Universities)
  • Operation (end-users – shipping companies as EXAG members)

The map below figure shows the geographic spread of the 35 participating organisations of the HERCULES-2 Project. It is obvious that this project has mobilised a multitude of Organisations throughout Europe.


Europe map with HERCULES-2 participating organisations sites


In the HERCULES-2 Project there are 35 participating organisations (32 partners and 3 EXAG) from 11 countries, of which 10 are EU Member Countries (Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom), and 1 country Associated to H2020 (Switzerland).

There are 11 (34%) Industrial participants, 16 (50 %) Universities, 5 (16%) Research organisations, 3 User / Operator EXAG companies.

The Project is led by two major Partner groups of engine manufacturers, namely, MAN and Wärtsilä. These engine manufacturers cover together about 90% of the world’s marine engine market (medium- and low-speed engines).

The HERCULES programme is in the first time that the two engine maker Groups participate together in a project with commonly defined Research Areas. The fact that these companies are strong competitors in the same market means that each company had to independently maintain their specific development targets. However, the two groups have similar mission statements related to the responsibility towards preservation of the environment and the rational use of the earth’s resources. The HERCULES programme is sustaining these common objectives.

All the other industrial partners are top companies in the global market with 50% of these industrial partners being the world’s leader in their field. Several of the 21 European University Laboratories and Research Institutes are renowned worldwide for research excellence in their field.

The User/Operator Shipping Companies in the EXAG group are the very large worldwide operators, Hapag Lloyd AG one of the largest container shipping lines in the world with more than 120 ships and A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S the largest container ship and supply vessel operator in the world with more than 500 ships and Costamare Inc. a leading international owner of containerships with 60 vessels.

The tie-up of these European world-leading Organisations and the integration of research capacities, in a project of such magnitude and long term scope, aiming at specific objectives with strategic impact of global significance, has been inconceivable in the past.