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

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.

This competition is now closed.

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Competition sections


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

Alternative fuel electric hybrid vessels are within scope. “Alternative fuels” in this competition refers to fossil fuel alternatives such as hydrogen, ammonia and methanol.

Your proposal must build, deploy and operate novel clean maritime technologies focussed on on-vessel technologies and related shoreside infrastructure including at ports, harbours and offshore.

The Zero emission vessel and infrastructure competition is funding multi year demonstrations across 3 strands:

Your demonstration must include the zero emission vessel and infrastructure being used in a representative real world operational environment for a period of 3 years.

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.

If you make an error in your application that makes it ineligible for funding it will not be sent for assessment.

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 £3 million, and £40 million unless agreed with Innovate UK. The total grant cannot exceed £20 million.

Who can apply

Your project

(Text update 4 April 2023: we have changed the funding period wording to make it clearer when the project starts and ends.)

Your project must:

  • have total costs of between £3 million and £40 million unless agreed with Innovate UK (see below)
  • 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

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.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size,
  • be a ship owner or manufacturer or operator (ship as defined in the Merchant Shipping Act (MSA) 1995 Section 313(1)), or an infrastructure owner or operator, such as a port or windfarm
  • collaborate with a UK registered infrastructure owner or operator if you are a ship owner, manufacturer or operator
  • collaborate with a UK registered ship owner, manufacturer or operator if you are an infrastructure owner or operator

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

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.

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.

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

Number of applications

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

If you are involved in more than one application, you must clearly state how all projects can be resourced and delivered if successful. You may be asked for further evidence of your resources at interview if invited.

If Innovate UK have concerns about your ability to deliver multiple projects successfully, we reserve the right to award funding based on evidence of capacity to manage them.

If you are involved in other Innovate UK funded projects, you must show you have the resources in place to deliver further projects funded by this ZEVI competition.

Innovate UK reserve the right to decide the success of an application based on evidence of capacity to manage multiple live projects. If you are delivering live Innovate UK projects, we will review your current delivery and performance towards expected stated deliverables.

Previous applications

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

We will not award you funding if you have:

  • failed to exploit a previously funded project
  • an overdue independent accountant’s report
  • failed to comply with grant terms and conditions
  • failed to satisfy us that you can manage delivery of current live projects and a new zero emission vessel and infrastructure (ZEVI) project

Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)

This competition provides funding in line with the Subsidy Control Act 2022. Further information about the Subsidy requirements can be found within the Subsidy Control Act 2022 (

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 Subsidy Control Act 2022 or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.

You must always 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.


Text update 16 February 2023: we have changed the funding rules to enable you to submit applications with total costs exceeding £40 million with prior approval.

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. Total project costs exceeding £40 million must be approved by Innovate UK in advance of submitting your application. Projects over £40 million will be considered where proposed vessel or infrastructure activity can be justified at a higher overall project cost.

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.

We 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.

Research and development costs (non capital costs)

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 industrial research projects, you could get funding for your research and development (R&D) 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 experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your research and development (R&D) eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 25% 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.

During the funding period to 31 March 2025, you can claim for ‘repair and maintenance’ contracts related to vessels or infrastructure. You can also forecast and claim for 'repair and maintenance’ contract costs that are required for your demonstration phase to 31 March 2028.

These costs are separate from the cost of purchasing the vessels or infrastructure and must be listed within the Innovation Funding Service finance section as part of your ‘research and development’ costs.

All your related Capital Costs must be submitted separately on the capital costs spreadsheet provided.

Separating these costs will allow Innovate UK to support you in receiving the appropriate level of funding. Funding can only be claimed until 31 March 2025, claims that fall after that date cannot be supported.

All repair and maintenance contracts and any other goods or services offered or purchased between project partners, must be delivered without profit for the purposes of this competition.

Research participation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 5% 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 5% you can get funding for your eligible research and development (R&D) 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

Within the 5% limit of the total eligible project costs, research organisations can get funding for eligible capital project costs of up to 80%, subject to the capital cost funding rules.

Text update 10 March 2023: we have updated guidance around research participation rules to clarify rules for Local Authorities and Transport Bodies providing services such as ferry operations.

Within the maritime sector there are a limited number of non-business entities that provide services, such as ferry operations. If your public sector organisation is a Local Authority or Transport Body that provides such services and is therefore the owner or operator of a vessel or infrastructure then your eligible costs can be up to 70% of the eligible total project costs. In these limited cases, the 5% limit will not apply to your costs. If you partner with research organisations in the project then overall the limit is 75%. Within the 75% limit of the total eligible costs, these organisations can get funding for eligible capital costs of up to 80%, subject to the capital cost funding rules

Eligible capital costs

Your application can include the purchase of capital equipment as an eligible project cost for large-scale demonstration projects. Investments must be relevant to the project and the maximum intervention rate on these purchases is up to 80% grant for the duration of the project up until 31 March 2025 for all organisations.

As part of your application, you must calculate the net cost of any capital usage of capital equipment. This must exclude any usage after the project end or any usage that is not part of your project.

You must estimate the residual value and we may independently value capital equipment at the end of the project. Where there is a discrepancy which results in you exceeding the rate of subsidy you have been awarded, this will need to be redressed.

Your eligible project capital costs must be the purchase, construction, or upgrade of research resources, including vessels and infrastructure, that perform economic activities.

Your total eligible project capital costs must be the investment costs in intangible and tangible assets. These can relate to vessels or shore power stations.

Access to the infrastructure for their operation or use must be open to several users outside of the project, without discrimination and be granted on a transparent basis. Users must be charged the appropriate market price.

If an organisation has financed at least 10% of the investment costs of the project infrastructure, it can be granted preferential access under more favourable conditions. The access must be in proportion to the organisation’s contribution to the investment costs and access conditions must be made publicly available, unless within a restricted area.

We will work with successful projects to independently evaluate the programme by collecting data on several factors related to your vessels, infrastructure and wider demonstration. The outcomes of the project will be made openly accessible, however, any sensitive data will be anonymised and remain confidential.

Within a capital infrastructure project involving businesses or collaborations with business and research organisations, if your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits set out in this scope. 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.

Where you are conducting commercial or economic activities (which may include research organisations) as part of the project, you can claim grant funding up to 80% of their eligible project costs. The funding rates are a maximum rate, the funding you request should be the minimum amount to make your project viable.

Funding cannot be used to reduce the total cost of vessel operations below the cost of fossil fuel vessel operations. You will have to submit details of your capital costs as part of your application.

You could get funding for your eligible project capital costs for the duration of the project up until 31 March 2025 of up to 80% of your investment into:

  • shore power capable vessels used for your demonstration
  • shore power stations used for your demonstration

You will have to provide a cost breakdown for this in your application. You can contact for clarification about funding levels and eligible costs.

We may contact applicants for further information related to your capital costs after your application has been submitted.

If successful you may be required to claim funding awarded for capital costs separately to your projects R&D costs.

Your proposal

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.

We encourage projects from around the UK:

  • to support boosting jobs and economic growth
  • including 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.

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.

Portfolio approach
We want to fund a variety of projects across the three competition strands, different technologies, markets, technological maturities UK geographic locations and research categories. We call this a portfolio approach.

Innovate UK and DfT reserves the right to prioritise projects within specific themes where necessary. We reserve the right to adjust the distribution of funding across the three Zero emission vessel and infrastructure strands.

Specific themes

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

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

Research categories

We will fund industrial research projects and experimental development projects, as defined in the guidance on categories of research.

Projects we will not fund

We 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

If you are unsure on any of the bullet points, contact customer support services by email to at least 10 working days before the competition closes.

We 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

6 February 2023
Online briefing event: watch the recording
6 February 2023
Competition opens
19 April 2023 12:00pm
Competition closes
15 May 2023
Invite to interview
7 June 2023
Interview start
21 June 2023
Interview end
7 July 2023
Applicants notified

Before you start

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

Before submitting, it is the lead applicant’s responsibility to make sure:

  • that all the information provided in the application is correct
  • your proposal meets the eligibility and scope criteria
  • all sections of the application are marked as complete
  • that all partners have completed all assigned sections and accepted the terms and conditions (T&Cs)

You can reopen your application once submitted, up until the competition deadline. You must resubmit the application before the competition deadline.

What we ask you

The application is split into 3 sections:

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

Accessibility and inclusion

We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and are committed to making our application process accessible to everyone. This includes providing support, in the form of reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us. Read more on how we are making our application process more accessible and inclusive for everyone.

You must contact us as early as possible in the application process. We recommend contacting us at least 15 working days before the competition closing date to ensure we can provide you with the most suitable support possible.

You can contact us by emailing or calling 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).


If your application passes the first stage of assessment, you may be invited to attend an interview, where you must give a presentation. Your interview will take place either online or at a designated location. The date and time of your interview will be included in your invitation.

Before the interview and by the deadline stated in the invitation email, you:

  • must send a list of who will attend the interview
  • must send your interview presentation slides
  • can send a written response to the assessors’ feedback

List of attendees

Agree the list with your consortium. Up to 9 people from your project can attend, ideally one person from each organisation. They must all be available on all published interview dates. We are unable to reschedule slots once allocated.

Presentation slides

Your interview presentation must:

  • use Microsoft PowerPoint
  • be no longer than 40 minutes
  • have no more than 41 slides
  • not include any video or embedded web links

You cannot change the presentation after you submit it or bring any additional materials to the interview.

Written response to assessor feedback

This is optional and is an opportunity to answer the assessors’ concerns. It can:

  • be up to 10 A4 pages in a single PDF or Word document
  • include charts or diagrams


After your presentation the panel will spend 60 minutes asking questions. You will be expected to answer based on the information you provided in your application form, presentation and the response to feedback.

After your interview

The panellists will individually score your application and these will be averaged for your overall interview score. This score will supersede the one you received from initial assessment unless stated otherwise in the competition brief. We will notify you whether you have been successful or not by email and you will receive feedback on your interview within a week of notification.

1. Project details

This section provides background for your application and is not scored.

Application team

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

Application details

Give your project’s title, start date and duration.

Research category

Select the type of research you will undertake.

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 sent for assessment. We will tell you the reason why.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

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 and any partners or 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. Environmental permits (not scored)

Will you have the correct environmental licences and permits in place to carry out your project?

We are unable to fund projects who do not have the correct licences or permits in place by your project start date.

You must select one:

  • yes
  • no
  • in process of being applied for

Question 3. 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
  • the project deliverables, including the nature, location and duration of the demonstration, how you will meet the 3 year requirement and why the demonstration you propose will validate the performance of your technology
  • 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 demonstrate 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 600 words long.

Question 4. 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
  • 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 savings both direct, and future indirect (such as opportunities to provide clean fuels or energy to other transport sectors)
  • any savings from the demonstration project itself and any subsequent commercial 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 report, 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 5. 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
  • the resources, equipment and facilities needed for the project and how you will access them
  • 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

Your answer can be up to 600 words long

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

Question 6. 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
  • Your target customers, including how you will share the results of the demonstration with them.
  • 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

Your answer can be up to 600 words long.

Question 7. Outcomes and route to market

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
  • 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
  • your strategy for targeting the other markets you have identified during or after the project

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 and scaling 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 8. 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 600 words long.

Question 9. 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
  • the management reporting linesyour project plan in enough detail to identify any links or dependencies

You must submit a project plan or Gantt chart as an appendix to support your answer.

This must include a detailed plan for your 3 year demonstration, including its outline milestones.

The appendix 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.

Your answer can be up to 600 words long.

Question 10. 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 main risks to the timeline for delivery of your build phase until 31 March 2025, when ZEVI funding from Innovate UK will stop
  • the main risks for the timeline related to the 3 year demonstration period
  • 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 600 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 11. Knowledge sharing and clean maritime market development

How will this project enhance the UK’s position as a world leader in clean maritime technology through shared-learning, dissemination and knowledge-exchange?


  • what processes you will adopt for ensuring that lessons are learned across the clean maritime sector, including stakeholders and potential customers
  • how you will ensure that your project takes account of other relevant work, for example successful and unsuccessful clean maritime projects, previous government-funded or EU-funded work in the UK, and academic studies
  • what knowledge sharing arrangements you will put in place and how you will ensure that information is disseminated effectively, including considerations such as timeliness and means of communication
  • what evidence and data will be collected, including how and when this will be done and who will be responsible
  • the types of information you plan to share with other stakeholders which you have identified
  • how your project offers learning and development in relevant clean maritime technologies and enables research and innovation across the wider supply chain
  • the scalability and replicability of your project, and how you will build on experience to support future market development and cost reduction

Your answer can be up to 600 words long

Question 12. 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 public funding would 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 you have 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 13. 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? What are your capital costs? Why do you require the level of grant funding that you have requested?

In terms of the project goals, explain:

  • the total eligible project costs and the grant you are requesting, for both research and development costs and capital costs
  • the amount of grant funding required for capital purchases related to vessels and if any vessels require additional funding due to their cost or usage, why is this needed
  • the amount of grant funding required for capital purchases related to infrastructure and if any infrastructure requires additional funding due to the cost or usage, why is this needed
  • how many vessels or how much infrastructure your project could fund without this grant funding
  • how many vessels or how much infrastructure your project could fund, if grant funding for capital costs was limited to 50%
  • if the project requires funding for capital costs at rates above 50%, why this is needed
  • how you have evidenced the funding will not reduce the total cost of vessel operations significantly below the cost of conventionally fuelled operations
  • how each partner will finance their contributions to the project and the expected timeline for raising any match funding required
  • 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 the project
  • how your usage of subcontractors represents value for money for the project even where the subcontractors are not the lowest cost

You will need to share a summary of your proposed capital costs with partners to enable the written response to this question to be prepared. There is a section in the zero emission vessels and infrastructure capital costs template (available to download in this question) to help you prepare this summary. The summary can be found in the “Form Status” worksheet of the template spreadsheet.

Your answer can be up to 800 words long.

You can submit one appendix to support your answer. It can include diagrams and charts. 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.

All project partners claiming for capital costs must also download and complete the zero emission vessels and infrastructure capital costs template for this question.

Capital costs associated with vessels must be completed separately to capital costs associated with recharging, shore power or refuelling infrastructure. This means you may need to create two versions of the template.

You must read the ‘Guidance’ tab and complete your costs against the categories provided and complete the ‘project cost summary’ tab with the grant you are requesting. You may find that the spreadsheet will not show as Whole form ‘Complete’. If each individual worksheet shows as ‘Complete’ then do not worry about the ‘Whole form’ status.

Once completed, the spreadsheet must be attached and sent by email to competition enquiries with ‘Confidential: ZEVI Finance Spreadsheet Application Number (xxxxxxxx your application number)’ as the subject matter. The attached copy of the spreadsheet should be no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

The email must be sent by 11am on the competition close date.

Any partners who have not sent their completed spreadsheet, where required, before the deadline risks the whole application being withdrawn and not sent for assessment. It is your responsibility to ensure your spreadsheet is accurate, complete and emailed.

In order for the lead applicant to be able to mark this question as complete, they must upload a blank copy of the zero emission vessels and infrastructure capital costs template as a spreadsheet. This is in addition to the optional appendix, which must be a PDF

3. Finances

Each organisation in your project must complete their own project costs, organisation details and funding details in the application.

Where your application includes ‘capital costs’ do not include these costs in this finance section. 'Capital costs' must be captured separately in the zero emission vessels and infrastructure capital costs template spreadsheet as part of your application. This is required for Innovate UK to manage the different grant funding percentage rates for your capital costs and R&D project costs.

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 £206 million to form the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) as part of the 2022 National Shipbuilding Strategy.

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). UK SHORE aims to transform the UK into a global leader in the design and manufacturing of clean maritime technologies.

UK SHORE will accelerate the design and manufacture of UK made clean maritime technologies, and unlock an industry-led transition to Net Zero. The ZEVI competition sits alongside the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) in the suite of UKSHORE initiatives. CMDC has invested over £92 million, in a range of projects across 3 competition rounds.

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

This new ZEVI programme within UK SHORE 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 long term real world operational demonstrations of scalable clean maritime solutions. These demonstrations should be both investment and construction ready.

We encourage projects to demonstrate links to relevant policy, for example:

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.

Details about future UK SHORE opportunities will follow in 2023.

Ferry services, including to, from and between islands and on inland waterways

Zero emission domestic ferry services are a priority theme in this competition across all three strands. Innovate UK and the Department for Transport (DfT0 encourages projects addressing this theme to apply into this competition.

A project focusing on zero emission domestic ferries should demonstrate the ferry traveling to, from and between islands and inland waterways within the UK.

Guidance on domestic 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. It must be between two ports or harbours. A corridor to a wind farm does not qualify as a green corridor.

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, 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.

Successful projects and operators will also be required to engage with third party contractors appointed by DfT and Innovate UK who are independently evaluating the zero emission vessel and infrastructure programme.

This is expected to include:

  • vessel data collection: supporting contractors to collect raw data from all vessels involved in ZEVI projects
  • infrastructure data collection: support contractors in collecting raw data associated with infrastructure usage, efficiency, uptime, maintenance and business model performance
  • infrastructure deployment: detailing the cost of equipment, cost of installation, cost of grid connections, duration of deployment and the cost and duration of work related to your distribution network operator (DNO)
  • financial: vehicle purchase or build costs and all operational costs to determine the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • access to vessel operators and drivers to determine factors such as user acceptance and differences in operating zero emission vessels compared to current vessels
  • evaluation and dissemination activities

Innovate UK and DfT are aware that certain raw data will be confidential and commercially sensitive and our contractor will work collaboratively with you to define an acceptable approach. To meet programme objectives, including dissemination of learning across the sector, your project must supply agreed data, but it will be aggregated or anonymised where it is marked as confidential. Data will be stored confidentially.

Your project is not required to fund this evaluation activity, but the evaluation activity will require access to vessels, drivers, suppliers, and stakeholders on an ongoing basis throughout the project. In some limited cases and by agreement, the evaluation contractors may require access to vessels and infrastructure when they would typically be undergoing operational duties.

Funding is contingent on your project formally accepting a mutually agreed data collection and demonstration evaluation contract and complying with it throughout the project.

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.

Next steps

If you are successful with this application, you will be asked to set up your project.

You must follow the unique link embedded in your email notification. This takes you to your IFS Set Up portal, the tool that Innovate UK uses to gather necessary information before we can allow your project to begin.

You will need to provide:

  • the name and contact details of your project manager and project finance lead
  • a redacted copy of your bank details
  • a collaboration agreement
  • an exploitation plan

In order to process your claims, we need to make sure that the bank details you give to us relate to a UK high street bank that is regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). The account must have a BACS clearing facility and be in the same company name as your application.

If you have any doubts that your bank account will not meet Innovate UK's funding criteria, you can use the sort code checker. If you input the sort code and find a tick next to the ‘BACS Direct Credit payments can be sent to this sort code’, this will give you an indication that the bank account you hold is acceptable.

Finance checks

We will carry out checks to make sure you are an established company with access to the funds necessary to complete the project.

You must check your IFS portal regularly and respond to any requests we have sent for additional information to avoid any delays.

Failure to complete project setup may result in your grant offer being withdrawn.

Your Grant offer letter (GOL)

Once you have successfully completed project setup, we will issue your GOL.

The GOL will be made available on your IFS portal. You will need to sign and upload this before you start your project.

Your GOL will show the start date for your project, do not start your project before this date. Any costs incurred before your start date cannot be claimed as part of your grant.

If your application is unsuccessful

If you are unsuccessful with your application this time, you can view feedback from the assessors. This will be available to you on your IFS portal following notification.

Sometimes your application will have scored well, and you will receive positive comments from the assessors. You may be unsuccessful as your average score was not above the funding threshold or your project has not been selected under the portfolio approach if this is applied for this competition.

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).

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