ZEVI: Shore power technologies, shore-side and vessel-side

Key Features

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £77 million. The funding will be to develop, deploy and operate clean maritime solutions for 3 years in a real world environment. This funding is from the Department for Transport.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £77 million

Opens: 6th Feb 2023

Closes: 19th Apr 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 £77 million in innovation projects. These projects will develop, deploy and operate clean maritime solutions for 3 years in a real world environment.

The Zero emission vessel and infrastructure (ZEVI) competition is part of a suite of interventions being launched by the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE), part of DfT. They aim to transform the UK into a global leader in the design and manufacturing of clean maritime technologies.


The aim of this competition is to fund:

  • 100% battery electric vessels
  • alternative fuel vessels
  • vessel energy efficiency technology, such as wind assistance
  • vessel charging infrastructure
  • shore power and corresponding vessel technology
  • alternative fuel refuelling infrastructure for vessels

Your project must focus on shore power connectable vessels and shore power infrastructure. The infrastructure must be for providing power to vessels whilst moored, allowing vessels to turn off their conventional power supply.

Your project can include multiple vessels and infrastructure locations and demonstrate a wide range of operational profiles. A project with a single vessel and single infrastructure location will be in scope if this is appropriate for the operational activities of that vessel.

Your project will be funded from the agreed start date up until 31 March 2025, for costs associated with:

  • project delivery
  • vessel development
  • infrastructure development

You must demonstrate all funded vessels and infrastructure for 3 years, at your own cost, ending 31 March 2028.

You must engage with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) during the project. The MCA may also contact successful projects to discuss the details of your project. Failure to engage with the MCA when requested could result in your project being suspended or funding withdrawn.

Your proposal must:

  • define the 3 year deployment and demonstration that you plan to conduct, including all associated costs and the range of operational use cases
  • focus on maritime and the development of a sustainable and scalable approach to zero emission vessels and infrastructure
  • present a well-rounded and industrially driven consortium capable of rapid deployment
  • evidence that you can acquire or build vessels and supply the infrastructure needed to carry out a successful demonstration in the required timeframe
  • define a long term strategy to decarbonise this sector, with a viable commercialisation route to expanding nationally and internationally

Technologies for all sizes and categories of maritime vessel subject to the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 are in scope. Solutions and demonstrations can be suitable for one target size of vessel or multiple types. Pleasure and commercial vessels are in scope.

The vessel must be a United Kingdom ship, as defined in 85(2) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, or you must provide clear justification for use of a non-United Kingdom ship in your application.

All ports and harbours are in scope, including infrastructure for freight, passenger, pleasure and commercial vessels. Offshore infrastructure is also in scope, such as wind farms.

Innovate UK encourage projects from around the UK:

  • to support boosting jobs and economic growth
  • including ports, vessel operators, vessel manufacturers and their supply chain

Innovate UK welcome projects from areas with existing clean maritime expertise or co-located in clusters of renewable energy production and usage including hydrogen.

You must clearly demonstrate how you will anchor Intellectual Property (IP) generated by the project in the UK and how it will be exploited for the benefit of the UK supply chain in the future.

The 3 year demonstration period should take place in UK waters wherever possible. International vessel operations with a UK registered vessel are only acceptable where fully justified and the benefit to the UK clearly explained. We will not fund international infrastructure or operations originating outside the UK.

Your project must:

  • demonstrate operational utilisations of vessels and infrastructure
  • operate zero emission vessels in various types of locations and sea states, whilst performing a range of duty cycles to reflect the variety in vessel operations
  • ensure all vessels and infrastructure funded in your project are in operation by 31 March 2025, vessels can be deployed earlier or in stages if desired
  • ensure adequate training is provided for all those using the vessels or infrastructure
  • ensure there are appropriate repair and maintenance provisions for your vessels and infrastructure during the 3 year demonstration period
  • share your project’s learning before, during and after your demonstration, both independently and by supporting activities organised by the funders or their agents
  • collaborate fully with organisations responsible for regulation, safety and incident response to conduct a safe demonstration
  • maximise UK value in terms of supply chain and deployment

Vessel specific requirements for Strand 2

You must:

  • focus on use of vessel technology that can be scaled
  • ensure any ancillary equipment and auxiliary power provision in use is zero emission, when connected to shore power, including deck machinery such as cranes
  • ensure vessels have more than one shore power connection point
  • ensure demonstrated vessels meet all safety, regulatory and legal requirements

Infrastructure specific requirements for Strand 2

You must:

  • ensure all proposed infrastructure funded through the programme is, accessible to other operators outside the consortia by appointment and at a suitable market rate
  • ensure infrastructure is located to enable a variety of operations, potentially including offshore powering
  • utilise a proportion of infrastructure capable of powering multiple vessels
  • describe any decommissioning that is required at the conclusion of the demonstration, infrastructure which can viably be repurposed does not require decommissioning
  • meet all safety, regulatory and legal requirements
  • align with current and emerging international standards
  • ensure any funded electricity grid upgrades use novel technology specifically developed for the provision of shore power and are not just industry standard capacity upgrades

Where grid infrastructure costs are included, you must clearly explain how the grid technology is novel or innovative.

Projects can use existing or planned infrastructure where it is compatible with their demonstration.

Successful projects will be required to engage with the Department for Transport (DfT), Innovate UK and any third party contractors appointed by them related to zero emissions vessels and infrastructure (ZEVI) projects.

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

  • domestic green corridors
  • ferry services, including between islands and on inland waterways


Your project must:

  • have total costs of between £3 million and £40 million
  • not exceed a grant request of £20 million
  • start by 1 October 2023
  • claim all grant funding by 31 March 2025
  • complete a 3 year demonstration of all funded vessels and supporting infrastructure
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

The funding period for your project can last for a maximum of 20 months, the project funding period.

You must complete your funded project and 3 year demonstration of all vessels, with corresponding infrastructure, no later than 31 March 2028.

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.

Non-UK business can apply to this competition in reference to activities they are planning to undertake in the UK. The business must be registered in the UK before any funding can be awarded and all work must be undertaken in the UK.

Trust ports and Municipal ports will be treated as businesses.

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

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.

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.

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

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


Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • do not meet the scope and objectives of this competition
  • focus only on increasing the efficiency of current conventional fossil fuels and fossil fuel powertrains of maritime vessels
  • are focusing on on-vessel power generation and fuel production to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG’s), for example, wind turbines, solar panels, synthetic fuel production
  • are focusing on nuclear technologies
  • are focusing on personal watercraft (PWC)
  • propose a demonstration using ancillary equipment that is not zero emission, for example deck machinery
  • have significant proportion of costs focussing on standard grid capacity upgrades
  • include costs for alternative fuel or energy production
  • include costs for purchasing land or for generating electricity
  • have failed to demonstrate the resources to deliver multiple zero emission vessel and infrastructure (ZEVI) projects if applicable
  • are focused on charging 100% battery electric vessels

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:

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

Funding Costs

Up to £77 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects across the three strands of this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

You can request funding for your eligible, capital project costs and your non-capital research and development (R&D) project costs. These costs must be listed separately in your application.

Your total grant request must be no more than £20 million against your total project costs.

If successful you will not be able to:

  • reassign capital costs to R&D costs
  • reassign R&D costs to capital costs
  • increase the amount or proportion of grant funding you are requesting for capital costs or R&D costs

The total funding available for the competition can change. The funders have the right to:

  • adjust the funding allocations between the three competition strands
  • apply a portfolio approach

Your proposal must demonstrate value for money and your grant funding request must be the minimum needed to make your project viable.

Innovate UK will work with successful projects to enable funding to be claimed and drawn down, to support interim payments defined as part of key commercial agreements between project participants and suppliers. If successful you will be required to evidence commercial agreements with suppliers and draw down the grant according to milestones and terms stated within the agreement.

All funding for your project must be claimed and drawn down by the 31 March 2025. Your demonstration must continue until 31 March 2028 at the participants’ own costs.

For further information on funding costs, please see here

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.