Funding competition Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 2 - Feasibility

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £12 million for innovative clean maritime technologies. This funding is from The Department for Transport.

This competition is now closed.

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Competition sections


The Department for Transport will work with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest £12 million in innovative feasibility studies and pre-deployment projects.

This competition 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 Clean Maritime Demonstration Round 2 competition has two strands:

It is your responsibility to ensure you submit your application to the correct strand for your project. You will not be able to transfer your application and it will not be sent for assessment if it is out of scope.

Funding is available in strand 1 to develop feasibility studies for pre-deployment testing for innovative clean maritime technology demonstrations.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type


Project size

Your project’s total costs must be between £100,000 and £1 million.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • have total costs between £100,000 and £1 million
  • end by 31 August 2023
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • carry out the majority of the work in the UK for green corridor projects
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Your project can start by 1 January 2023.

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 entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian source.

If your total project’s costs or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to at least 15 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

Project team

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

The lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding by entering their costs during the application.

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead organisation 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.

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 eligible 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.

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

Number of applications

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

If you are involved in more than one submission, you must clearly state in your application how all projects can be resourced and delivered if successful.

Previous applications

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

We will not award you funding if you have:

Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)

This competition provides funding in line with the UK's obligations and commitments to Subsidy Control. Further information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent guidance from the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Innovate UK is unable to award organisations that are considered to be in financial difficulty. We will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.

EU State aid rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see our general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.

Further Information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.

You must at all times make sure that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.

This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to, or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.

If there are any changes to the above requirements that mean we need to change the terms of this competition, we will tell you as soon as possible.


We have allocated funding from the £12 million budget for innovation projects in this strand 1 of the competition.

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

DfT and Innovate UK reserves the right to dedicate a proportion of this funding, approximately £3.5 million, to prioritised technology themes for this strand. These technologies are considered strategic areas of importance for the UK.

Approximately £2.5 million will be used to support projects addressing other technology themes.

If your organisation’s work on the project is mostly commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

For 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

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.

If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.

Research participation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 50% 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 50% 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

Your proposal

Strand 1 of the competition is funding detailed feasibility studies and plans for innovative technology demonstrations of scalable clean maritime solutions.

Your project must undertake a technical and economic feasibility study associated with the development and real world demonstration of one or more of the specific themes.

You must plan for the real world demonstration being developed in your project to be operational by March 2025.

Your projects must:

  • underpin a future demonstration by delivering a meaningful technology, route to market, or supply chain innovation
  • 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, for example by including a representative end user such as vessel operators, ports or harbour authorities.

Technologies for all sizes and categories of maritime vessel, including pleasure and commercial vessels, are in scope. Solutions can be suitable for one target size of vessel or multiple.

Where a project intends to utilise a vessel, the vessel should be a United Kingdom Ship, as defined in 85(2) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, or you must provide justification for use of a non-United Kingdom Ship in your application.

All ports and harbours are in scope, including infrastructure for both freight, pleasure and commercial vessels.

Once your feasibility study is completed, you are expected to be capable of progressing to the point that you are investment and construction ready.

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.

We strongly encourage projects from around the UK to support boosting jobs and economic growth, including from ports, vessel operators, vessel manufacturers and their supply chain. We welcome projects from areas with existing clean maritime expertise or co-located in clusters of renewable energy production and usage including hydrogen.

At the end of your feasibility study, you must:

  • produce a clear, detailed and costed plan for how your technology will be demonstrated in an operational setting in or between ports or on vessels, 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 potential reduction of lifecycle emissions and positive economic impacts in the future
  • detail the barriers to adoption that the future demonstration will overcome and the innovation that will be delivered
  • 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, an assessment of new partners needed and information required for a clear business case and decision on deploying a large demonstration project
  • outline expected commercial applications and exploitation, and potential market segments
  • share your final feasibility study reports with DfT, Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Innovate UK
  • produce a clear plan for disseminating the results of your demonstration project and knowledge sharing

Green shipping corridors

If your proposal focusses on a green shipping corridor, 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 vessel to be transiting the route.

Your green corridor proposal must also:

  • estimate the annual additional costs of delivering the corridor, taking into account the different market participants, for example, ship owners, ports, fuel suppliers, with a clear plan for how costs would be met, covering both private and public sources of funding
  • estimate the direct and indirect environmental impacts from delivering the corridors, 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
  • draft a ‘route map’, following the model elaborated in the Getting to Zero Coalition’s ‘The Next Wave’ report, and project plan for delivery of the corridor.
  • develop a clear plan for disseminating learnings and data from the corridor across the industry

Portfolio approach

We want to fund a portfolio of projects across the two competition strands. This will include a variety of technologies, markets, geographic locations around the UK, technological maturities and research categories.

Innovate UK and DfT reserves the right to prioritise projects within specific themes where necessary.

Specific themes

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

Prioritised technology themes:

  • pilot fuel free hydrogen internal combustion engine technologies for maritime applications.
  • whole-ship energy efficiency design and integration
  • safe on-board storage of hydrogen and ammonia
  • larger (2.5 Mega Watt plus) marinised fuel cell systems
  • small craft alternative for fuel bunkering and charging
  • green shipping corridors both domestically and between the UK and other states including short and deep sea routes

Other technologies

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, and 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, sensors, 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

Research categories

We will fund feasibility projects, as defined in the guidance on categories of research.

Projects we will not fund

We are not funding projects that:

  • are for green corridors which deliver ferry routes across or between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, these will be funded as part of different UK SHORE schemes
  • focus only on increasing the efficiency of current conventional fossil fuels and fossil fuel powertrains for maritime vessels
  • involve aqua culture
  • focus on marine conservation and ecology, such as mapping the sea floor etc
  • focus on autonomy and smart shipping
  • focus on on-vessel power generation and fuel production to reduce green house gases (GHG’s), for example, solar panels, synthetic fuel production
  • are for Capital investment only
  • are investigating the feasibility of financial products, including green finance, except as part of projects for feasibility studies on international green corridors
  • focus on biofuels, except for projects strictly focused on inland waterway vessels and Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM), which includes port-side machinery
  • focus on nuclear propulsion
  • are 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
  • are 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

25 May 2022
Competition opens
9 June 2022
Briefing event: watch the recording
14 July 2022 11:00am
Competition closes
2 September 2022
Applicants notified

Before you start

You must read the guidance on applying for a competition on the Innovation Funding Service before you start.

What we ask you

The application is split into 3 sections:

  1. Project details.
  2. Application questions.
  3. Finances.

1. Project details

This section provides background for the assessors and is not scored.

Application team

Decide which organisations will work with you on the project. Invite people from those organisations to help complete the application.

Application details

The lead applicant must complete this section. Give your project’s title, start date and duration.

Subsidy basis

Will the project, including any related activities you want Innovate UK to fund, affect trade between Northern Ireland and the EU?

You and all your project partners must respond and mark this question as complete, before you can submit your application.

Research category

Select the type of research you will undertake.

Application team

Decide which organisations will work with you on the project. Invite people from those organisations to help complete the application.

Team members must each complete an Equality Diversity and Inclusion survey. The lead applicant must complete their survey to submit the application.

Project summary

Describe your project briefly and be clear about what makes it innovative. We use this section to assign the right experts to assess your application.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Public description

Describe your project in detail and in a way that you are happy to see published. Do not include any commercially sensitive information. If we award your project funding, we will publish this description. This could happen before you start your project.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.


Describe how your project fits the scope of the competition. If your project is not in scope it will not be eligible for funding.

You must provide a clear statement confirming which technology theme your project is addressing.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

Text update 10/6/2022: we have changed Question 1 by adding Subcontractors to the text to make it clearer.

The assessors will score all your answers apart from question 1. You will receive feedback for each scored question. Find out more about how our assessors assess.

You must answer all questions. Do not include any website addresses (URLs) in your answers.

Question 1. Applicant location (not scored)

You must state the name and full registered address of your organisation, any partners and subcontractors working on your project.

We are collecting this information to understand the geographical location of all applicants.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 2. Need or challenge

How will your project support the transition to zero emission shipping?

What is the business need, technological challenge or market opportunity behind your innovation?


  • the project objectives and deliverables
  • how the project will support the adoption of technology which will reduce the level of lifecycle GHG emissions, when compared to conventional fuels and propulsion
  • how the project relates to the maritime sector, what parts of the sector the project addresses, and how the project outputs will impact on them
  • any work you have already done relevant to this project, for example, if the project focuses on developing an existing capability or building a new one

Explain how the project will support the transition to clean maritime technologies and how the project objectives overcome barriers to adoption of these technologies, including but not limited to:

  • how this project might support or enable the development of regulation, including engagement to date with relevant regulatory bodies
  • how the project with further the understanding of the current gaps in knowledge on the technical aspects of the technology

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 3. Approach and innovation

What approach will you take and where will the focus of the innovation be?


  • the technical detail and approach of proposed project, with reference to barriers that the project seeks to overcome
  • where applicable, the justification for choosing your proposed green corridor route
  • whether the project will focus on the application of existing technologies in new areas, the development of new technologies for existing areas or a totally disruptive approach
  • the technology development or progress that will be achieved by the project, including defined success criteria
  • the estimated level of ‘well-to-wake’ greenhouse gas emission savings resulting from your technology, including both direct, and future indirect savings from any subsequent deployment, stating any assumptions and evidence where possible, with well-to-wake defined as the emissions associated with production, distribution, storage and usage of energy
  • how your project is tailored to maritime applications, and how you have considered the environmental, operational and practical challenges of innovation in the marine environment
  • how your approach has considered the regulatory landscape and challenges to implementing the technology, you must demonstrate a clear understanding of the regulatory context,
  • your plan of how your project will engage with the relevant regulatory authorities in order to provide the assurances required to enable the project to proceed for both the innovative and non-innovative elements of your project, for example vessel structure, stability and marine equipment
  • the freedom you have to operate
  • how this project fits with your current product, service lines or offerings
  • how it will make you more competitive
  • the nature of the outputs you expect from the project, for example reports, demonstrator, know-how, new process, product or service design, and how these will help you to reach your objective or success criteria

Your answer can be up to 600 words long.

You can submit one appendix to support your answer. It can include diagrams and charts. It must be a PDF and can be up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 4. Team and resources

Who is in the project team and what are their roles?


  • the roles, skills and experience of all members of the project team that are relevant to the approach you will be taking to deliver this project
  • the resources, equipment and facilities needed for the project and how you will access them, particularly in the light of any continuing COVID-19 restrictions
  • who in the team will be responsible for considering and leading on regulatory aspects
  • where the team has the appropriate maritime sector expertise necessary to deliver the project
  • the details of any vital external parties, including subcontractors, who you will need to work with to successfully carry out the project
  • the current relationships between project partners and how these will change as a result of the project
  • any roles you will need to recruit for taking into account the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the team structure

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

You can submit one appendix to support your answer with a short summary of the main people working on the project. It must be a PDF and can be up to 4 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 5. Market awareness

What does the market you are targeting look like?


  • the markets and sub sectors, for example, crew, transfer vessels, short sea ferries, you will be targeting in the project, and any other potential markets (domestic, international or both)
  • the size of the target markets for the project outcomes, backed up by references where available
  • the structure and dynamics of the target markets, including customer segmentation, together with predicted growth rates within clear timeframes
  • the target markets’ main supply or value chains and business models, and any barriers to entry that exist
  • the current UK position in targeting these markets
  • the size and main features of any other markets not already listed

If your project is highly innovative, where the market may be unexplored, describe or explain:

  • what the market’s size might to be
  • how your project will try to explore the market’s potential

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 6. Outcomes and route to markets

How are you going to grow your business and increase long term productivity as a result of the project?


  • your current position in the markets and supply or value chains outlined, and whether you will be extending or establishing your market position
  • your target customers or end users, and the value to them, for example why they would use or buy your product
  • your route to market, particularly if COVID-19 has changed market dynamics
  • how you are going to profit from the innovation, including increased revenues or cost reduction
  • how the innovation will affect your productivity and growth, in both the short and the long term
  • how you will protect and exploit the outputs of the project, for example through know-how, patenting, designs or changes to your business model
  • how the project will anchor the IP generated in the UK

Describe how your project will be exploited for the benefit of the UK supply chain in the future, including:

  • the route to commercialisation for your technology or fuel after the project
  • the potential benefits of future commercialisation within the UK
  • the potential benefits from export of the technology

If there is any research organisation activity in the project, describe:

  • your plans to spread the project’s research outputs over a reasonable timescale
  • how you expect to use the results generated from the project in further research activities

Your answer can be up to 600 words long.

Question 7. Wider impacts

What impact might this project have outside the project team? Describe and, where possible, measure the economic benefits from the project such as productivity increases and import substitution, to:

  • external parties
  • customers
  • others in the supply chain
  • broader industry
  • the UK economy

Describe and, where possible, measure:

  • any expected impact on government priorities, including economic growth around the UK, boosting productivity and creation of jobs
  • any expected environmental impacts other than greenhouse gas emissions such as air quality, either positive or negative
  • any expected regional impacts of the project

Describe any expected social impacts, either positive or negative on, for example:

  • quality of life
  • social inclusion or exclusion
  • jobs, such as safeguarding, creating, changing or displacing them
  • education
  • public empowerment
  • health and safety
  • regulations
  • diversity

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 8. Project management

How will you manage your project effectively?


  • the main work packages of your project, indicating the lead partner assigned to each and the total cost of each one
  • your approach to project management, identifying any major tools and mechanisms you will use to get a successful and innovative project outcome
  • who will be responsible for all regulatory and certification elements of your project
  • the management reporting lines
  • your project plan in enough detail to identify any links or dependencies between work packages or milestones, taking into account the possible impact of further COVID-19 restrictions

You must submit a project plan or Gantt chart as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 9. Risks

What are the main risks for this project?


  • the main risks and uncertainties of the project, including the technical, commercial, managerial and environmental risks
  • the timeline for delivery of your feasibility study before August 2023
  • how you will mitigate these risks
  • any project inputs that are critical to completion, such as resources, expertise, and data sets
  • any output likely to be subject to regulatory requirements, certification, ethical issues and so on, and how you will manage this

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

You must submit a risk register as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 10. Added value

How will this public funding help you to accelerate or enhance your approach to developing your project towards commercialisation? What impact would this award have on the organisations involved?


  • what advantages would public funding offer your project, for example, appeal to investors, more partners, reduced risk or a faster route to market (this list is not exhaustive)
  • the likely impact of the project outcomes on the organisations involved
  • what other routes of investment have you already approached
  • what your project would look like without public funding
  • how this project would change the R&D activities of all the organisations involved

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 11. Costs and value for money

How much will the project cost and how does it represent value for money for the team and the taxpayer?

In terms of your project goals, explain:

  • your total project costs
  • the grant you are requesting
  • how each partner will finance their contributions to your project
  • how this project represents value for money for you and the taxpayer
  • how it compares to what you would spend your money on otherwise
  • the balance of costs and grant across the project partners
  • any subcontractor costs and why they are critical to your project

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

3. Finances

Each organisation in your project must complete their own project costs, organisation details and funding details in the application. Academic institutions must complete and upload a Je-S form.

For full details on what costs you can claim see our project costs guidance.

Background and further information

In 2022 the Department for Transport announced a £206 million UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emission (UK SHORE) as part of the 2022 National Shipbuilding Strategy.

UK SHORE will build on the success of the first Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, accelerating the design and manufacture of UK-made clean maritime technologies, and unlocking an industry-led transition to Net Zero.

UK SHORE investment will bring jobs and opportunities, as well as direct economic benefit to our coastal communities, to build back better.

This programme builds on the vision set out in the Department’s Clean Maritime Plan and underlines our commitment to addressing emissions from this sector.

This competition supports this goal by funding detailed feasibility studies and plans for innovative technology demonstrations of scalable clean maritime solutions. Progressing these demonstrations to be both investment and construction ready and laying the groundwork for further investment in real-world technology demonstrations.

Successful projects from this competition may be required to participate in and attend London International Shipping Week in September 2023. You will also be expected to support key transport decarbonisation events in the UK and in UK Government-led international initiatives, including initiatives around these events and communications activity.

The multi-year strands of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) will open later this year, enabling prospective applicants to present proposals for funding to real-world demonstration projects. Prospective applicants can include those who developed feasibility studies and initial trials as part of the first CMDC launched in March 2021. The multi-year strands will open again in 2023, enabling those who participated to this competition to apply.

Further information on the specific themes highlighted is described below.

  • Pilot fuel free hydrogen internal combustion engine technologies for maritime application

This is currently an undersupplied technology with some engines beginning to filter into the market for larger 1 Mega Watt plus applications. We intend to support projects concerning engines which do not require pilot fuels, eliminating residual air pollution and biofuel demand, as many hydrogen combustion engines currently need approximately 25% co-combustion or pilot fuel.

  • Whole-ship energy efficiency design integration

Efficiency technologies are an essential component of the mix of technologies enabling zero emission capable vessels. Evidence emerging from activity at the International Maritime Organization, concerning the Energy Efficiency Design Index and the Energy Efficiency Existing Index, suggests that efficiency gains of 45% plus are possible for some ship types, if multiple energy efficiency systems are integrated into a single platform from the design stage. However, for the most part current vessel designs focusing on energy efficiency are either showcasing a single technology on a conventional ship or are too theoretical, and stray into concept vessels. With the low energy density of alternative fuels ships will need to maximise design efficiency in order to accommodate alternatives which will take up much more space.

  • Safe on-board storage of hydrogen and ammonia

On-board alternative fuel storage is both a safety issue and a serious range concern. Projects will explore how to safely store compressed and cryogenised gases on ships that have handling characteristics that are different from MGO or LNG. Additionally, rules for fuel containment and leak detection are still to be developed. Unless these issues are resolved it will not be possible to standardise the use of these fuels in partnership with the IMO.

  • Larger (2.5 Mega Watt plus) marinised fuel cell systems

So far, most research has focused on smaller systems, as challenges such as overheating and fire protection compound as systems become larger. Projects focusing on this theme will help unlock fuel cell systems for higher power demand applications such as tugs and bigger ships.

  • Small craft alternative for fuel bunkering and charging

Zero emissions small boats represent a new challenge for ports and harbours, with the latter expected to handle large numbers of small customers as the fleet is decarbonised. Bunkering for small crafts is expected to be more akin to petrol stations than conventional marine fuel supply. Developing options, including marinising road vehicle approaches for charging and refuelling fuels is essential to unlock these systems for small crafts.

Guidance on green corridors:

A green shipping corridor is a maritime route between two or more ports on which vessels running on scalable zero-emission energy sources are demonstrated and supported.

This involves sourcing or production of scalable zero-emission fuel or energy, arrangements for its transportation and distribution. Putting in place storage and refuelling or recharging infrastructure in port, and deploying zero-emission capable vessels to operationally demonstrate zero-emission shipping on a given route. Corridors must, therefore, be a collaboration across the full shipping value chain.

Corridor demonstrations are not intended to be a one-off, but to kickstart a wider transition and should continue over a sustained period of time. To qualify as a corridor, at least one zero-emission vessel must be transiting the route. However, where possible, the number of zero-emission vessels should increase on the route over time, with plans being made and efforts taken to facilitate this scale up.

Corridors can be established on UK domestic routes, short-sea routes to or from the UK, also deep-sea routes to or from the UK, and in any shipping segment with the specified operating profile.

Green corridors are about stimulating early adoption of promising long-term solutions to reach zero emissions in shipping by 2050, with scalable zero emissions energy sources.

Scalable zero emission energy sources are energy sources that have the potential to achieve zero or near zero greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis, while also scaling production in line with the required pace of the transition. For example, green hydrogen, green ammonia, green methanol, and battery electric.

Impacts and evaluation

Innovate UK will work with projects awarded grants or contracts, to implement a new Impact & Evaluation framework. Your project will be required to collect and report key metrics and data as specified by the programme and in line with the centralised evaluation framework. This will include the collection of both evidence and counterfactual data to support impact and attribution claims.

You will be required to work with Innovate UK to analyse and interpret the data using the techniques specified in the evaluation plans, to support the production of reports at an agreed annual reporting schedule.

You will be briefed on the specific metrics and evidence following notification of your award. For planning, forecasting and budgeting purposes, each organisation within a consortium will be expected to allocate 3 working days to supporting this requirement over the life of the project.

You will also be asked to respond periodically to further requests, following your project’s conclusion, recognising Innovate UK’s obligations, and the benefits of, evaluating impact over time.

Data sharing

This competition is jointly operated by Innovate UK, and The Department for Transport (DfT) (each an 'agency').

Your submitted application and any other information you provide at the application stage can be submitted to each agency on an individual basis for its storage, processing and use. Any relevant information produced during the application process concerning your application can be shared by one agency with the other, for its individual storage, processing and use.

This means that any information given to or generated by Innovate UK in respect of your application may be passed on to DfT and vice versa.

Innovate UK and DfT are directly accountable to you for their holding and processing of your information, including any personal data and confidential information. Data is held in accordance with their own policies. Accordingly, Innovate UK, and Department for Transport will be data controllers for personal data submitted during the application.

Find a project partner

If you want help to find a project partner, contact Innovate UK KTN.

Support for SMEs from Innovate UK EDGE

If you receive an award, you will be contacted about working with an innovation and growth specialist at Innovate UK EDGE. This service forms part of our funded offer to you.

These specialists focus on growing innovative businesses and ensuring that projects contribute to their growth. Working one-to-one, they can help you to identify your best strategy and harness world-class resources to grow and achieve scale.

We encourage you to engage with Innovate UK EDGE, delivered by a knowledgeable and objective specialist near you.

Contact us

If you need more information about how to apply or you want to submit your application in Welsh, email or call 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Innovate UK is committed to making support for applicants accessible to everyone.

We can provide help for applicants who face barriers when making an application. This might be as a result of a disability, neurodiversity or anything else that makes it difficult to use our services. We can also give help and make other reasonable adjustments for you if your application is successful.

If you think you need more support, it is important that you contact our Customer Support Service as early as possible during your application process. You should aim to contact us no later than 10 working days before the competition closing date.

Need help with this service? Contact us