CMDC Round 4 – Vessel or Infrastructure demonstrations

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £34 million for innovative clean maritime technologies. This funding is from The Department for Transport.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £34 million

Opens: 2nd Aug 2023

Closes: 27th Sep 2023

! 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 £34 million in innovation projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping.

These will be to develop and deploy real world operational demonstrations of clean maritime solutions as well as carry out innovative feasibility studies and pre-deployment trials.

The Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) Round 4 is part of a suite of interventions 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, pre-deployment trials and feasibility studies into clean maritime technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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

Your 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.


Your project must:

  • underpin a full commercial and operational technology deployment after March 2025, by delivering a meaningful operational demonstration in real world conditions for at least two weeks before April 2025
  • 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 objectives, and include a representative end user such as vessel operators, ports or harbour authorities

At the end of your real world operational demonstration project, you must:

  • produce a clear, detailed and costed plan to fully scale and enter the solution into UK and global markets over the next 3 years including your technical approach, objectives and business case
  • detail your plan for compliance with regulation and how you will work with relevant regulatory bodies for novel technologies
  • quantify the reduction of lifecycle emissions and positive economic impacts in the future, including citing usage data from the demonstration
  • explain your understanding of any remaining barriers to full market adoption
  • detail the expected commercial applications and exploitation to target customers, and potential market segments for your outcomes
  • share your findings with DfT, Maritime and Coastguard agency (MCA) and Innovate UK in your end of project report
  • produce a detailed plan for disseminating the results of your demonstration project and knowledge sharing with clean maritime stakeholders and industry


This competition is split into 3 strands:

  • Strand 1: Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 4 – Vessel or Infrastructure demonstrations (this strand)
  • Strand 2: Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 4 – Vessel and Infrastructure combined demonstrations
  • Strand 3: Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 4 – Feasibility studies and pre-deployment trials


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

Prioritised themes:

  • Domestic green corridors
  • International ferries
  • Vessels greater than 24 metres in length
  • Ammonia solutions

Other themes:

Vessel low and zero emission technologies:

  • vessel propulsion and auxiliary engines, for example, batteries, fuel cells, and internal combustion engines using low or zero carbon alternative fuels such as hydrogen, methanol (green), ammonia or multi-fuel combinations
  • 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
  • energy efficiency technologies, where they significantly enhance the vessel range or lower alternative fuel usage to enable the fuel’s viability

Projects developing 100% battery electric solutions for vessels less than 24 metres need to show clearly how their project is novel and how it addresses limitations with existing electric vessel solutions.

Infrastructure technologies including offshore solutions:

  • shoreside storage and bunkering of low and zero carbon fuel
  • charging infrastructure and management for electric vessels
  • shore 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
  • 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
  • zero emission offshore infrastructure for wind, oil and gas farms that support zero or low emission vessels

Projects focused on shore power technology need to show clearly how their project is novel and how it addresses limitations with existing shore power solutions.



Your project must:

  • have total costs between £500,000 and £6 million
  • start by 1 April 2024
  • end by 31 March 2025
  • 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 and Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian and Belarusian source.

If your project’s total costs or start date falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to at least 10 working days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request.

If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible. Your application will then not be sent for assessment.


Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

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

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

Trust ports and Municipal ports will be treated as businesses.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account, and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.


Non-funded partners

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.



Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.


Innovate UK timeline

12 July 2023 – In person briefing event: register to attend

2 August – Competition opens

27 September 2023 11.00am – Competition Closes

19 October 2023 – Invite to interview

10 November 2023 – Interview Panel


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.