Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition – Strand 2

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £20 million for innovative clean maritime and smart shipping projects. This funding is from the Department for Transport.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £20 million

Opens: 22nd Mar 2021

Closes: 2nd Jun 2021

! This scheme is now closed


The Department for Transport will work with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest up to £20m for innovative clean maritime and smart shipping projects.

The aim of this competition is to support the design and development of technologies for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by the UK’s maritime sector as set out in the Clean Maritime Plan and support the transition to Net Zero by 2050.

In this competition we are seeking solutions for all sizes and categories of maritime vessels. Solutions can be suitable for one target size or multiple sizes of vessels. All ports and harbours are in scope, including infrastructure for both freight and leisure.

We strongly encourage projects from around the UK to support boosting jobs and economic growth, including:

  • ports
  • vessel operators
  • vessel manufacturers
  • their relevant supply chain

There are two strands to this competition:

  • Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Strand 1
  • Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Strand 2 (this strand)

In applying to this competition you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.


Your project must design, develop and test novel clean maritime or smart shipping technologies that reduce greenhouse emissions:

  • from vessels
  • from shore-side infrastructure at ports and harbours

You can include autonomous vessels as identified in the Technology and Innovation in UK Maritime Route Map and wind power, where these deliver energy efficiency savings and enable a vessel to be zero emission capable.

Your consortia can include all the necessary partners to achieve the aims of the competition, these can include a representative end user such as a:

  • vessel manufacturer
  • operator
  • port or harbour authority

At the end of the project you must:

  • produce a clear, detailed and costed plan for how the solution will be demonstrated in an operational setting in a port or on a vessel or vessels
  • detail your technical approach and compliance with regulation, involving relevant regulatory bodies
  • show how you will provide assurance if your novel technology does not comply with existing regulation
  • list your objectives and business case
  • demonstrate how the objectives and success criteria have been achieved (including barriers to adoption being overcome)
  • share your reports with DfT and Innovate UK

Projects in this strand can include capital infrastructure costs where necessary.

Clean maritime and smart shipping technologies for all sizes and categories of maritime vessel are in scope. Solutions can be suitable for one target size of vessel or multiple. Leisure and commercial vessels are in scope.

All ports and harbours are in scope, including infrastructure for both freight and leisure.

We strongly encourage projects from around the UK to support boosting jobs and economic growth, including from ports, vessel operators, vessel manufacturers and their supply chain. These can be from established areas of maritime innovation in the UK with proven expertise and capabilities, this includes emerging clusters of activity in zero emission technologies such as but not limited to:

  • The Orkney islands, home to a series of innovative hydrogen projects, including ongoing trials with a vessel, and is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for renewable energy, advanced fuels and island decarbonisation
  • Teesside, home to the Department of Transport’s Hydrogen Transport Centre, complementing the existing Tees Valley Net Zero Innovation Centre and leveraging local expertise in heavy industry, advanced manufacturing and high technology research and development

Specific Themes

Your project can focus on one or more of the following themes:

On-vessel low and zero emission technologies:

  • vessel propulsion (battery, fuel cell, hybrid, or engines using low carbon alternative fuels such as hydrogen, methanol or ammonia)
  • propulsion systems using internal combustion engine technology capable of using multiple fuels including zero carbon options (such as hydrogen, methanol, ammonia)
  • wind propulsion, including soft-sail, fixed-sail, rotor, kite and turbine technologies, targeting a range of ship types from small vessels to large cargo carriers, both as primary and auxiliary propulsion
  • on-vessel power generation and fuel production to reduce GHG’s e.g. wind turbines, solar panels, synthetic fuel production
  • low carbon energy storage and management
  • physical connections to shore-side power, including fuelling lines
  • enabling technologies such as motors, drives and power electronics

Port and shore-side solutions:

  • shore-side low and zero carbon fuelling including bunkering of such fuels
  • charging infrastructure and management
  • low and zero emission shore-side power solutions, such as enabling docked vessels to turn off their conventional power supply for ancillary systems
  • shore-side renewable energy generation at the port to supply vessels
  • zero emission shore-side power supply as vessels are in harbour for the vessel’s main propulsion system, including grid or renewable energy supply
  • low carbon fuel production (such as hydrogen, methanol, ammonia)
  • zero emission infrastructure, including stationary assets for freight handling and port operations

Smart shipping technologies:

  • autonomy, digitisation and better journey efficiencies directly and indirectly delivering quantifiable energy efficiency savings and, therefore, GHG emission reductions
  • other smart shipping technologies, including the control of the emission reduction systems including but not limited to wind propulsion


Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • focus only on increasing the efficiency of current conventional fossil fuels and powertrains of maritime vessels
  • are involving aqua-culture
  • are focused on marine conservation and ecology, such as mapping the sea floor
  • are investigating the feasibility of financial products, including green finance
  • are focused on biofuels, except for projects strictly focused on inland waterway vessels and Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM), which includes port-side machinery
  • are focused on nuclear propulsion
  • are dependent on export performance – for example, giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that they export a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • are dependent on domestic inputs usage – for example, if we insisted that a baker use 50% UK flour in their product



Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £100,000 and £4,000,000,
  • end by 31 March 2022
  • last up to 7 months

Projects can start from 1 September 2021.

Innovate UK will not approve project extensions beyond 31 March 2022.

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size, a research organisation or a research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

If the lead organisation is an RTO or a research organisation it must collaborate with at least 1 business.

Academic institutions cannot work alone.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

There is no limit to the number of applications an organisation can participate in. If applicants are involved in more than one application, they must clearly state in question 4 how all projects can be resourced and delivered successfully.

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Innovate UK will not award you funding if you have:

Funding Costs

Innovate UK have allocated up to £10m to fund innovation projects in this strand.

Innovate UK and Department for Transport reserves the right to move funding between strands.

If your organisation’s work on the project is mostly commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 50% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

Capital Infrastructure Costs

Applications can include the purchase of relevant capital equipment as an eligible project cost where this is necessary as part of your proposal and to deliver your objectives. The inclusion of capital costs is optional, not a requirement. Applications that include capital costs will be assessed in the same way as those that do not.

Your total capital grant funding request must not exceed 50% of your total eligible capital costs.

Eligible capital costs include the upgrade or construction of research infrastructures that perform economic activities. The eligible capital costs shall be the investment costs in intangible and tangible assets you will have to provide a cost breakdown for this in question 11.

Research Infrastructures are facilities that provide resources and services for research communities to conduct research and foster innovation. They can be used beyond research e.g. for education or public services and they may be single-sited, distributed, or virtual.

If the research infrastructure pursues both economic and non-economic activities, you must:

  • account for the financing, costs and revenues of each type of activity separately
  • use consistently applied and objectively justifiable cost accounting principles

Access to the research infrastructure for its operation or use must be open to several users without discrimination and be granted on a transparent basis. Users must be charged the market price.