Funding competition Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition – Strand 1

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £20m for innovative clean maritime and smart shipping projects. This funding is from the Department for Transport.

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Competition sections

Description

The Department for Transport will work with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest up to £20m for innovative clean maritime and smart shipping projects. The aim of this competition is to support the design and development of technologies for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by the UK’s maritime sector as set out in the Clean Maritime Plan and support the transition to Net Zero by 2050.

In this competition we are seeking solutions for all sizes and categories of maritime vessels. Solutions can be suitable for one target size or multiple sizes of vessels. All ports and harbours are in scope, including infrastructure for both freight and leisure.

We strongly encourage projects from around the UK to support boosting jobs and economic growth, including:

  • ports
  • vessel operators
  • vessel manufacturers
  • their relevant supply chain

There are two strands to this competition:

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

Grant

Project size

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £25,000 and £1,000,000.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £25,000 and £1,000,000,
  • end by 31 March 2022
  • last up to 7 months

Projects can start by 1 September 2021.

Innovate UK will not approve project extensions beyond 31 March 2022.

If your project’s total eligible costs outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to support@innovateuk.ukri.org at least 10 working days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request.

Lead organisation

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

If the lead organisation is an RTO or a research organisation it must collaborate with at least 1 business.

Academic institutions cannot work alone.


Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

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

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.

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

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 question 4 for why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must also provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you.

We expect subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs. A cheaper cost is not deemed as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

Number of applications

There is no limit on the number of applications an organisation can participate in. If applicants are involved in more than one submission, they must clearly state in question 4 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.

European Commission State aid

You must apply under European Commission State aid rules if you are an applicant who is conducting activities that will affect trade of goods and electricity between Northern Ireland and the EU as envisaged by Article 10 of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

In certain limited circumstances, the European Commission State aid rules may also apply if you are an organisation located in England, Wales, or Scotland and conduct activities that affect the trade of goods and electricity between Northern Ireland and the EU. For further information, please see section 7 of the BEIS technical guidance.

For further information see our general guidance on state aid and BEIS guidance on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

For applicants subject to the European Commission State aid rules, applicants will be required to prove that they were not an “Undertaking in Difficulty” on the date of 31 December 2019 but became a UID between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2021. We will ask for evidence of this.


Further Information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the State aid rules, please take independent legal advice.

You must make sure at all times 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.

Funding

We have allocated up to £10m to fund feasibility projects in this strand.

Innovate UK and Department for Transport reserves the right to move funding between strands.

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

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.

Your proposal

The aim of this competition is to support the design and development of technologies for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by the UK’s maritime sector as set out in the Clean Maritime Plan and support the transition to Net Zero by 2050.

Your project must:

  • review the technical and economic feasibility of solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • develop a clear plan for a future technology demonstration to be deployed after the feasibility project has been completed

You can include autonomous vessels as identified in the Technology and Innovation in UK Maritime Route Map and wind power, where these deliver energy efficiency savings and enable a vessel to be zero emission capable.

Project consortia for the feasibility study can include the necessary partners in the feasibility study to achieve these aims, such as including a representative end user such as a vessel manufacturer, operator or port or harbour authority.

At the end of the feasibility project, you must:

  • produce a clear, detailed and costed plan for how the solution will be demonstrated in an operational setting in a port or on a vessel(s), including its technical approach, its objectives and business case
  • detail your compliance with regulation or how you will provide assurance if your novel technology does not comply with existing regulation
  • 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
  • detail the resources needed to carry out such a large-scale demonstration, including funding requirements and timescales for delivery, planning permissions, implications of current and future regulation, an assessment of new partners needed and other related information that is required to make a clear business case and decision on deploying a large demonstration project
  • share your reports with DfT and Innovate UK

Clean maritime and smart shipping technologies for all sizes and categories of maritime vessel are in scope. Solutions can be suitable for one target size of vessel or multiple. Leisure and commercial vessels are in scope.

All ports and harbours are in scope, including infrastructure for both freight and leisure.

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. These can be from established areas of maritime innovation in the UK with proven expertise and capabilities, this includes emerging clusters of activity in zero emission technologies such as but not limited to:

  • the Orkney islands, home to a series of innovative hydrogen projects, including ongoing trials with a vessel, and is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for renewable energy, advanced fuels and island decarbonisation
  • Teesside, home to the Department of Transport’s Hydrogen Transport Centre, complementing the existing Tees Valley Net Zero Innovation Centre and leveraging local expertise in heavy industry, advanced manufacturing and high technology research and development

Applications must clearly demonstrate how they will anchor 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 want to fund a portfolio of projects, across 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 themes:

On vessel low and zero emission technologies:

  • vessel propulsion (battery, fuel cell, hybrid, or engines using low carbon alternative fuels such as hydrogen, methanol or ammonia)
  • propulsion systems using internal combustion engine technology capable of using multiple fuels including zero carbon options (such as hydrogen, methanol, ammonia)
  • 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
  • on-vessel power generation and fuel production to reduce GHG’s e.g. wind turbines, solar panels, synthetic fuel production
  • low carbon energy storage and management
  • physical connections to shore-side power, including fuelling lines
  • enabling technologies such as motors, drives and power electronics

Port and shore-side solutions:

  • shore-side low and zero carbon fuelling including bunkering of such fuels
  • charging infrastructure and management
  • low and zero emission shore-side power solutions, such as enabling docked vessels to turn off their conventional power supply for ancillary systems
  • shore-side renewable energy generation at the port to supply vessels
  • zero emission shore-side power supply as vessels are in harbour for the vessel’s main propulsion system, 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
Investigating green shipping corridors between the UK and other trading partners:

  • assessing the potential of specific technologies in decarbonising trade routes between the UK and trading partners, geographically both near and far
  • exploring barriers to the decarbonisation of trade routes
  • exploring how innovative technologies or the novel application of existing technologies will address the barriers, enabling the creation of green corridors between the UK and its trading partners

Smart shipping technologies:

  • autonomy, digitisation and better journey efficiencies directly and indirectly, delivering quantifiable energy efficiency savings and, therefore, GHG emission reductions
  • other smart shipping technologies, including the control of the emission reduction systems including but not limited to wind propulsion

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 focus only on increasing the efficiency of current conventional fossil fuels and powertrains of maritime vessels
  • projects involving aqua culture
  • projects focused on marine conservation and ecology, such as mapping the sea floor etc
  • capital investment only projects
  • projects investigating the feasibility of financial products, including green finance
  • projects focused on biofuels, except for projects strictly focused on inland waterway vessels and Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM), which includes port-side machinery
  • projects focused on nuclear propulsion
  • projects dependent on export performance - for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that they export a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • projects dependent on domestic inputs usage - for example if they insisted that a baker use 50% UK flour in their product
22 March 2021
Competition opens
29 March 2021
Online briefing event: watch the recording
2 June 2021 11:00am
Competition closes
26 July 2021
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.

Research category

Select the type of research you will undertake.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We collect and report on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) data to address under-representation in business innovation and ensure equality, diversity and inclusion across all our activities.

You must complete this EDI survey and then select yes in the application question. The survey will ask you questions on your gender, age, ethnicity and disability status. You will always have the option to ‘prefer not to say’ if you do not feel comfortable sharing this information.

Project summary

Describe your project briefly and be clear about what makes it innovative. We use this section to assign 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.

Scope

Describe how your project fits the scope of the competition. You must clearly state which theme is the main focus of your project. If your project is not in scope it will not be eligible for funding.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

The assessors will score your answers for questions 2 to 11, question 1 is not scored. You will receive feedback from them for each scored question.

Your answer to each question can be up to 400 words long. Do not include any website addresses (URLs) in your answers.

Question 1. Project partners location (not scored)

Please state the name of each organisation along with its full registered address. If you are working with an academic institution this doesn’t need to be included.

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?

Describe or explain:

  • your project objectives and deliverables
  • how your project will support the adoption of technology to improve the level of lifecycle GHG emissions compared to conventional fuels and propulsion
  • how your project will support the transition to achieve zero emission shipping and how your project objectives will overcome barriers to adoption of these technologies
  • how this project might support or enable the development of regulation, including engagement to date with relevant regulatory bodies
  • how the project will further the understanding of the current gaps in knowledge on the technical aspects of the technology
  • any work you have already undertaken to support your project

Question 3. Approach and innovation

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

Describe or explain:

  • 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 the technology including from any subsequent deployment of the technology. Please state any assumptions and evidence where possible. Well-to-wake is defined as the emissions associated with production, distribution and storage and usage of the energy covering both direct savings from the project and future potential indirect savings across other applicable vessels
  • how your approach has considered the regulatory landscape and challenges to implementing the technology. It should demonstrate a clear plan of how the project will engage with the relevant regulatory authorities in order to provide the assurances required to enable the project to proceed
  • 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

You can submit one appendix. 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?

Describe or explain:

  • the roles, skills and experience of all members of the project team that are relevant to your approach
  • 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
  • the details of any vital external parties, including subcontractors, who you will need to work with to successfully carry out the project
  • (if your project is collaborative) 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

You can submit one appendix. This can include a short summary of the main people working on the project to support your answer. 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

Which areas of the market is your project impacting?

Describe or explain:

  • the markets (domestic, international or both) and sub sectors (e.g. crew transfer vessels, short sea ferries etc) you will be targeting in the project, and any other potential markets
  • 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

Question 6. Outcomes and route to markets

Describe or explain:

  • 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 will the project anchor the IP generated in the UK
  • how the project will be exploited for the benefit of the UK supply chain in the future

Consider

  • 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

Question 7. Wider impacts

What impact might this project have outside the project team? State what will happen as a result of this project and what the impacts will be as a result of the future demonstration and deployment

Describe, and where possible, measure or estimate 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 or quantify:

  • 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

Question 8. Project management

How will you manage the project effectively?

Describe or explain:

  • the main work packages of the 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 lines
  • your project plan in enough detail to identify any links or dependencies between work packages or milestones, considering 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, can be 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?

Describe or explain:

  • the main risks and uncertainties of the project, including the technical, commercial, managerial and environmental risks
  • the timeline for delivery of the feasibility study before March 2022
  • how you will mitigate these risks
  • any project inputs that are critical to completion, such as resources, expertise, data sets
  • any output likely to be subject to regulatory requirements, certification, ethical issues and so on, and how you will manage this

You must submit a risk register and timing plan as an appendix to support your answer. 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 10. Added value

What impact would an injection of public funding have on the businesses involved?

Describe or explain:

  • whether this project could go ahead in any form without public funding and if so, the difference the public funding would make, such as a faster route to market, more partners or reduced risk
  • the likely impact of the project on the businesses of the partners involved
  • why you are not able to wholly fund the project from your own resources or other forms of private-sector funding, and what would happen if the application is unsuccessful
  • how this project would change the nature of R&D activity the partners would undertake, and the related spend

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 the project goals, describe or explain:

  • the total eligible project costs
  • the grant you are requesting
  • how each partner will finance their contributions to the 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 the project

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

The Prime Minister’s Ten Points Plan speech for a Green Industrial Revolution announced this £20 million for a competition to develop clean maritime technology.

This one-year ‘springboard programme’ will lay the foundation for a network of real-world projects, gearing up maritime decarbonisation in the UK ahead of COP26.

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.

Winning projects from this competition may be required to participate in and attend London International Shipping Week in September 2021 and COP26 in November 2021, including initiatives around these events and communications activity.

Contact us

If you need more information about how to apply email support@innovateuk.ukri.org or call 0300 321 4357.

Our phone lines are open from 9am to 11:30am and 2pm to 4:30pm, 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.

Finding a project partner

If you want help to find a project partner, contact the Knowledge Transfer Network.

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 EDGE, delivered by a knowledgeable and objective specialist near you.

Need help with this service? Contact us