Robert Clifford Honoured for Decades of Innovation in Maritime Industry

Incat Founder and Chairman Robert Clifford has been recognised for a lifetime of contributions to the maritime industry at the Shippax Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, where he received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

This award is a testament to Robert’s decades-long commitment to innovation, leadership, and advancement in shipbuilding.

The Incat Founder says he was humbled to receive the honour.

“I have always tried to inspire others by showing them what can be done, and this award means a lot to me,” Mr Clifford said.

“It has been a long and rewarding journey in shipbuilding, and I’m not done yet. Incat is entering a new chapter in its history with the transition to electric ships and I’m looking forward to what the future brings.”

Incat Managing Director Craig Clifford says it’s a fitting tribute to his father’s dedication and pioneering spirit.

“Robert has always led the industry in motivation and innovation, and his drive for pushing the boundaries of what’s possible is extraordinary. I couldn’t be prouder of his achievements,” Mr Clifford said.

“Incat could not ask for a more inspiring leader than Robert, and I know everyone at the company is proud to work for him.”

Robert’s passion for shipbuilding begun at an early age, building his first boat as a teenager. He then operated fishing boats for several years before establishing a river cruise business, which evolved into Hobart’s primary commuter service, transporting millions of passengers. His expertise in moving boats and passengers proved invaluable in the design and construction of larger high-speed craft.

Founded by Robert in 1988, Incat Tasmania has been at the forefront of developing large, lightweight, fast aluminium ferries for the global market. In 1990, the company delivered the first of its vehicle-carrying catamarans, revolutionising the industry, and inspiring shipbuilders worldwide. Today, nearly 100 Incat-built vessels operate globally, a testament to Robert’s vision and leadership.

Under Robert’s guidance, Incat has shifted its focus in recent years from diesel ships to environmentally friendly vessels and is currently building the world’s largest battery electric ferry.

Robert’s recognition with the Shippax Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates not only his personal accomplishments, but also the enduring legacy of Incat Tasmania as a leader in maritime innovation.

Congratulations to Robert Clifford, a true Tasmanian entrepreneur.

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