International Green Corridors Fund: UK – NL Feasibility Studies

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £430,000 for feasibility study projects with Netherlands organisations, looking at UK – NL Green Shipping Corridor routes. This funding is from the Department for Transport.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £430,000

Opens: 3rd Jun 2024

Closes: 17th Jul 2024

! This scheme is opening soon

Overview

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with The Department for Transport (UK) and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (NL). A combined total of up to £860,000 will be invested in innovation projects.

These projects will be to study Green Shipping Corridor routes between the UK and the Netherlands.

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

UK registered businesses must collaborate with at least one Netherlands non-linked registered business applying under the equivalent Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) competition programme.

UK registered organisations must apply through the Innovation Funding Service (IFS) portal to Innovate UK.

Your Netherlands partner will not receive any funding from Innovate UK.

Netherlands partners must apply to and will be funded by RVO for the Netherlands component of the project set out in this application.

Scope

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 Netherlands 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 Green Shipping Corridor, you must plan for at least one net zero emission (well-to-wake) vessel to be transiting a route between the UK and the Netherlands. Your project must study the steps needed to achieve a Green Shipping Corridor on that route.

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 the Netherlands
  • 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

At the end of your project, you must:

  • produce a clear, detailed and costed plan for how your Green Shipping 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
  • explain any potential negative impacts arising from the adoption of your Green Shipping Corridor and the mitigation measures you will put in place
  • 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), NL Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), Innovate UK and RVO

Successful projects will be required to engage with the UK Department for Transport (DfT), NL Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Innovate UK, RVO and any third party contractors appointed by them.

Regulation

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

Fuels in scope of this competition

The following fuels are in scope of this call.

  • bio-methanol
  • synthetic renewable LNG
  • synthetic renewable methanol
  • synthetic renewable ammonia
  • green hydrogen
  • renewable electricity

Other fuels can be studied alongside the ones in this list but the other fuels must not be the sole focus of the project (see Projects we will not fund).

The other fuels must be compliant with the Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources. The other fuels must also be compliant with Regulation (EU) 2023/1805 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 September 2023 on the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels in maritime transport, and amending Directive 2009/16/EC.

Eligibility

Your project must:

  • have total costs across the UK and Netherlands of between £50,000 (€58,000) and £250,000 (€292,000)
  • have no one country or project partner can represent more than 65% of the total project cost
  • last up to six months
  • undertake the majority of the project work in the UK and the Netherlands and intend to exploit the results from or in the UK and Netherlands
  • start by 1 November 2024
  • end by 30 April 2025

Netherlands funding restrictions are located on their website.

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.

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, the UK funding through Innovate UK 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.

To receive grant funding, your project proposal must be assessed as successful by both the UK and Netherlands funding bodies.

No one country or project partner can represent more than 65% of the total project cost.

The consortium must include at least one business registered in the Netherlands that is a separate legal entity and not linked to the UK partners. 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.

UK lead applicant

To start an application on the Innovation Funding Service (IFS), your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • collaborate with at least one Netherlands registered organisation applying to the RVO programme, which must be a separate legal entity, not linked to the UK partners

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.

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

Project team

All collaborations must include each of these organisations as a minimum, as part of the project:

  • a UK port or harbour
  • a Netherlands port or harbour
  • a UK or Netherlands vessel owner or operator with a vessel operating on, or intending to operate on, a route between the Netherlands and the UK

UK project team can also include

To collaborate with the lead applicant, 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 UK partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service (IFS) by the lead 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 and completing their Project Impact questions in the application.

Netherlands partners must not be invited onto Innovate UK’s IFS application platform. Their involvement in the project is listed as part of your answers to the questions. If you include a grant claiming Netherlands partner in your IFS application 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-Netherlands businesses. Their costs will not count towards the total project costs and should not be entered into the finance section of the application.

Netherlands partners

Netherlands partners must not be invited into Innovate UK’s application on the Innovation Funding Service.

Netherlands partners will be funded by RVO following a successful parallel application.

Subcontractors

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 other countries 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.

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

Number of applications

A UK business of any size can lead on one application and be included as a collaborator in two further applications.

If a UK organisation is not leading any application, it 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.

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.

Exclusions

Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • are feasibility studies for a domestic Green Shipping Corridor
  • are focusing only on increasing the efficiency of current conventional fossil fuels and fossil fuel powertrains of maritime vessels
  • are focusing solely on non-methanol biofuels
  • are focusing on Personal Watercraft (PWC)
  • are focusing solely on the use and production of synthetic fuels, this exclusion does not apply to methanol, ammonia, hydrogen and synthetic LNG fuels
  • are focusing on the use of submarines and submersible vessels
  • are covered by existing commercial agreements to deliver the proposed solutions
  • are a duplicate of an existing innovation
  • do not have an eligible Netherlands partner

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 RVO will invest a combined total of up to £860,000 (€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 procedure and funding rules. Funding conditions and eligibility criteria may vary between UK and the Netherlands. The bilateral joint cooperation between the partners and its added value is an important aspect to be considered within the evaluation.

UK organisations

If your UK registered 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

Research participation for UK organisations

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the UK 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

Netherlands organisations

See the Netherlands call page for more information on Netherlands 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.