International Green Corridors Fund: UK – IE Feasibility Studies

Key Features

UK registered organisations and Irish organisations can apply for a share of up to a combined total of £860,000 (EUR 1 million) for joint R&D projects focused on UK and IE Green Shipping Corridor routes.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £860,000

Opens: 15th Apr 2024

Closes: 30th May 2024

! This scheme is closing soon


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the Department for Transport (DFT) and the Marine Institute, Ireland (MI-IE).

The MI-IE is the State Agency responsible for marine research, technology development and innovation in Ireland. These agencies will invest a combined total of up to £860,000 (EUR 1 million) in innovation projects (UK £430,000 and IE 500,000 Euro).

This funding is from the UK Department for Transport and the Marine Institute, Ireland.

Your project will study Green Shipping Corridor routes between the UK and Ireland.

Innovate UK will fund UK partners to collaborate with Irish partners on feasibility study projects, over a six month period.


The aim of this competition is to fund innovative feasibility studies into routes that stimulate early adoption of promising long-term solutions to reach zero emissions in shipping.

Your joint Irish and UK project must conduct a technical and economic feasibility study associated with the development and real world demonstration of a Green Shipping Corridor route.

You must assess and develop a clear implementation plan for the real world establishment of the corridor. To qualify as a corridor, plan for at least one zero emission (well-to-wake) vessel to be transiting a route between the UK and Ireland.

Your project must:

  • underpin a future green shipping corridor demonstration by delivering meaningful technology, route to market and supply chain innovations
  • achieve market potential through a clear strategy for commercialising the technology and the products, demonstrating the potential for significant value to the UK and Ireland
  • illustrate potential greenhouse gas emissions reduction that could be achieved by the future green shipping corridor
  • bring together a team with the necessary expertise and experience to successfully deliver the project objectives, and include at least two ports or harbour authorities and one vessel owner or operator as detailed in eligibility

At the end of your project, you must:

  • produce a clear, detailed and costed plan for how your green corridor will be demonstrated in an operational setting in and between ports and on vessels, including your technical approach, objectives and business case
  • estimate the annual additional costs of delivering the corridor, considering various market participants, for example, ship owners, ports, fuel or infrastructure suppliers, with clear plans to meet costs, covering both private and public funding sources
  • estimate the direct and indirect environmental impacts from delivering the corridor, including impacts on greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions
  • estimate the scope for scaling up the number of zero-emission vessels and corresponding landside infrastructure, replicating the corridor elsewhere, and potential additional benefits to other routes and the wider fleet
  • investigate potential scalable zero emission energy source options for the corridor, estimate the quantity of energy required each year, with a clear plan for how this would be produced, imported, distributed, stored and bunkered, and the conditions to mobilise and meet demand
  • consider the design of the zero-emission vessels that would be used on the corridor, for example, newbuild or retrofit vessels, with a clear plan for how these vessels would be delivered
  • determine how the fuel will be safely and effectively supplied and bunkered, and stored on board vessels
  • include a clear plan for how the corridor would comply with all relevant regulations, for example, safety regulations
  • explain your understanding of any barriers to market adoption
  • detail the resources needed to carry out your real world demonstration, including funding requirements, timescales for delivery, planning permissions, implications of current and future regulation, new partners and information for a clear business case
  • develop a clear plan for disseminating learnings and data from the corridor across the industry
  • share your findings with the UK Department for Transport (DfT), Innovate UK, and the Marine Institute, Ireland

Successful projects will be required to engage with the Department for Transport (DfT), Innovate UK, and the Marine Institute, Ireland and any third party contractors appointed by them.


Projects must detail their plan for compliance with regulation and how they will work with relevant regulatory bodies for novel technologies.

Types of vessel

Green shipping corridors for all sizes and categories of maritime vessel are in scope. Solutions can be suitable for one target size of vessel or multiple. Pleasure and commercial vessels are in scope.

Types of infrastructure

Green shipping corridors involving all types of ports and harbours are in scope, including infrastructure for freight, passenger, pleasure and commercial vessels.

Your project must focus on green shipping corridors between the UK and Ireland.


Irish organisations

In addition to the relevant rules in this section, Irish organisations must follow Irish eligibility rules available on the Marine Institute’s website at Current Funding Opportunities | Marine Institute.

If your Irish organisation needs more information about eligibility and funding, you can contact Marine Funding email.

Your project

Your project must:

  • have combined UK and IE total costs between £50,000 (EUR 59,000) and £250,000 (EUR 300,000)
  • have no more than 65% of the total project costs allocated to UK organisations
  • have no more than 65% of the total project costs allocated to Irish organisations
  • start on 1 October 2024
  • end by 31 March 2025
  • last up to six months

Projects must always start on the first of the month and this must be stated within your application. Your project start date will be reflected in your grant offer letter if you are successful.

The project work must be undertaken in the UK and Ireland.

UK organisations must only include eligible project costs in the finance section of your application.

All Irish organisations must only include eligible project costs in the Irish partner cost template uploaded as part of your application. Details for eligible project costs for Irish organisations can be found on the Marine Institute’s Current Funding Opportunities website.

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.

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.

To receive any grant funding, your project proposal must be selected as successful by both the UK and Irish funding bodies. If successful, UK participants will receive grant funding from Innovate UK and Irish participants will receive grant funding from the Marine Institute, Ireland. All participants must be part of an application submitted to Innovate UK.

All businesses in your consortium must be separate legal and non-linked entities. This is to ensure that projects encourage genuine international collaboration, not internal company research. Linked companies are considered a single entity under the parent company.

Roles and terminology

There must be a project lead and this can be either an eligible UK or Irish registered business of any size. The project lead is responsible for managing the entire project.

UK lead applicant

The lead applicant is the organisation that starts the application on the Innovation Funding Service (IFS).

Irish organisations can be a project lead but cannot start an application on IFS.

They must be added as a partner to the UK lead applicant. This is for system functionality reasons.

To start an application on the Innovation Funding Service, your organisation must be a UK registered business of any size.

UK trust ports and UK municipal ports will be treated as businesses.

Project team

All collaborations must include at least three eligible organisations.

Your collaboration must involve:

  • a UK registered port or harbour
  • an eligible Irish registered port or harbour
  • a UK or Irish registered business that is a vessel owner or operator with a vessel operating on a route between Ireland and the UK

Your project can also include other eligible grant claiming UK or Irish registered partners:

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

More information on the different types of UK organisation can be found in Innovate UK’s Funding rules.

More information on the different types of Irish organisation can be found on the Marine Institute’s Current Funding Opportunities website.

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.

All partner organisations must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service (IFS) by the lead applicant to collaborate on a project. Once partners have accepted the invitation, they will be asked to login or to create an account in IFS. They are responsible for entering their own project costs in the relevant place and completing their Project Impact questions in the application.

All Irish organisation finances must be listed and uploaded as an appendix to the costs and value for money question using the Irish partner cost template form available. These finances will be checked separately for eligibility by the Marine Institute, Ireland.

If an Irish organisation requests grant funding in the finances section of the IFS application form, you will be made ineligible, and your application will not be sent for assessment.

Non-funded partners

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK or non-Irish 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 Ireland and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

Subcontractors to Irish organisations must not exceed 20% of the total Irish grant requested.

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

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK and Irish 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.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

Number of applications

A UK and Irish business of any size can lead on any number of applications and partner on any further number of applications.

Other UK organisations can collaborate on any number of applications.

Use of animals in research and innovation

Innovate UK expects and supports the provision and safeguarding of welfare standards for animals used in research and innovation, according to best practice and up to date guidance.

Applicants must ensure that all of the proposed work within projects, both that in the UK and internationally, will comply with the UKRI guidance on the use of animals in research and innovation.

Any projects selected for funding which involve animals will be asked to provide additional information on welfare and ethical considerations, as well as compliance with any relevant legislation as part of the project start-up process. This information will be reviewed before an award is made.

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


Innovate UK are not funding projects that are:

  • feasibility studies for a domestic green corridor
  • focusing only on increasing the efficiency of current conventional fossil fuels and fossil fuel powertrains of maritime vessels
  • focusing on non-methanol biofuels
  • focusing on personal watercraft (PWC)
  • focusing on the use and production of synthetic fuels, note, this exclusion does not apply to methanol, ammonia and hydrogen fuels
  • focusing on the use of submarines and submersible vessels
  • covered by existing commercial agreements to deliver the proposed solutions
  • a duplicate of an existing innovation

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example, giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example, giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Costs

Innovate UK and the Marine Institute, Ireland will invest a combined total of up to £860,000 (EUR 1 million) to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

Each country will fund its eligible participants according to their national procedures and funding rules. Funding conditions and eligibility criteria may vary between UK and Ireland. However, the bilateral joint cooperation between the partners and its added value is an important aspect to be considered within the assessment of an application.

UK organisations

As a UK partner, if 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 but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

For Research, Development and Innovation Streamlined Subsidy Scheme Category 1 Feasibility studies, 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

Irish organisations could get funding for their eligible project costs of:

  • up to 75% if they are a small or medium enterprises (includes micro enterprises)
  • up to 50% if they are a Multi-National Corporation (includes large enterprises)

Research participation for UK organisations

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

Irish Organisations

See the Marine Institute, Ireland Current Funding Opportunities website for more information on Irish eligibility and funding rules.

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.