CMDC Round 3 – Vessel or Infrastructure demonstrations

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £60 million for innovative clean maritime technologies. This funding is from The Department for Transport.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £60 million

Opens: 29th Sep 2022

Closes: 9th Nov 2022

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with The Department for Transport (DfT) to invest up to £60 million in innovation projects. These will be to develop and deploy real world operational demonstrations of clean maritime solutions.

The Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) Round 3 is part of a suite of interventions to be launched by the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE). UK SHORE aims to transform the UK into a global leader in the design and manufacturing of clean maritime technology.


The aim of this competition is to fund real world demonstrations of clean maritime technologies in an operational setting.

Your demonstration project must develop, test and deploy novel clean maritime technologies focused on on-vessel technologies or shoreside or offshore infrastructure including at ports, harbours and wind farms.

Projects that aim to simultaneously demonstrate vessels and infrastructure together must apply into Strand 2 of the competition. If you are in any doubt about which strand to apply into, you must check by email to at least 10 working days before the competition closes. If you apply into the wrong strand, you will be ineligible and your application will not be assessed.

Your demonstration must include the technology or vessel being used in a representative real world operational environment for a period of at least 4 weeks. There is no fixed definition of how projects must undertake their demonstration and use this minimum 4 week period because it will depend on your project, technology and what is required to prove its performance.

Innovate UK strongly encourage projects to utilise this minimum 4 week period fully and to gather as much performance data as possible.

Your project must:

  • underpin a full commercial and operational technology deployment after March 2025 by delivering a meaningful operational demonstration in real world conditions
  • achieve market potential through a clear strategy for commercialising the technology and the products, demonstrating the potential for significant value to the UK
  • deliver emissions reduction by demonstrating a significant greenhouse gas reduction
  • bring together a team with the necessary expertise and experience to successfully deliver the project according to its objectives, and include a representative end user such as vessel operators, ports or harbour authorities

For further information on the competition, please see guidance notes here

Specific Themes

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

Prioritised theme:

  • domestic green shipping corridors

Vessel low and zero emission technologies:

  • vessel propulsion and auxiliary engines, for example, battery, fuel cell, and internal combustion engines using low or zero carbon alternative fuels such as hydrogen, methanol or ammonia, including hybrids and engines capable of using multiple fuels including zero emission options.
  • 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
  • low carbon energy storage and management
  • physical connections to shoreside power or alternative fuels, including fuelling lines
  • enabling technologies such as motors, drives, sensor and power electronics

Port and shoreside, including offshore solutions:

  • shoreside low and zero carbon fuelling including bunkering of such fuels
  • charging infrastructure and management
  • low and zero emission shoreside power solutions, such as enabling docked vessels to turn off their conventional power supply for ancillary systems
  • physical connections to shoreside power or alternative fuels, including fuelling lines
  • shoreside renewable energy generation at the port to supply vessels
  • zero emission shoreside power supply for vessels, 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 within a port or harbour site


Your project must:

  • have total project costs between £1 million and £8 million
  • start by 1 April 2023
  • end by 31 March 2025
  • last up to 24 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • collaborate with other UK registered organisations

This competition allows Trust Ports to apply as a business of any size.

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

There is no limit on how many applications an organisation can submit in this competition, either as a lead or a partner.

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


Innovate UK are not funding projects that are:

  • feasibility studies
  • focusing only on increasing the efficiency of current conventional fossil fuels and fossil fuel powertrains of maritime vessels
  • involving aqua culture
  • focusing on marine conservation and ecology, such as mapping the sea floor
  • focusing on autonomy and smart shipping
  • focusing on demonstrating an international green corridor, these will be covered by other CMDC competitions
  • focusing on on-vessel power generation and fuel production to reduce green house gases (GHG’s), for example, wind turbines, solar panels, synthetic fuel production
  • for capital investment only
  • focusing on non-methanol biofuels, except for projects strictly focused on inland waterway vessels and Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM), which includes port-side machinery
  • focusing on nuclear technologies
  • focusing on Personal Watercraft (PWC)
  • focusing on the creation of open access research facilities in clean maritime
  • dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a vessel manufacturer on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of vessels to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example giving a subsidy to a vessel manufacturer on the condition that it uses 50% UK sourced components in their product

Funding Costs

Up to £60 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects across both strands of this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

Innovate UK and the Department for Transport (DfT) reserves the right to move funding between the two strands of this competition.

If the majority of your organisation’s work on the project is 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 30% 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.

Of that 30% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.