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The Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 3 – Strand 1

Automotive & Transport
General & Misc
Project Size:
£1 million – £8 million

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with The Department for Transport (DfT) to invest up to £60 million in innovation projects. These will be to develop and deploy real world operational demonstrations of clean maritime solutions.

The Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) Round 3 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 aim of this competition is to fund real world demonstrations of clean maritime technologies in an operational setting. Your proposal must, develop, test and deploy novel clean maritime technologies focused on on-vessel technologies or shoreside infrastructure, including at ports and harbours.

This Round is split into 2 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.

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


Your project

Your project must:

  • have total project costs between £1 million and £8 million
  • start by 1 April 2023
  • end by 31 March 2025
  • last up to 24 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

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

If your total project’s costs falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to at least 10 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

This competition allows Trust Ports to apply as a business of any size.

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.

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

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.


Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

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 application, you must clearly state in your application how all projects can be resourced and delivered if successful. If you apply for funding in multiple projects but Innovate UK have concerns about your ability to deliver them successfully, we reserve the right to decide the success of an application based on evidence of capacity to manage multiple projects.

The aim of this competition is to fund real world demonstrations of clean maritime technologies in an operational setting.

Your demonstration project must develop, test and deploy novel clean maritime technologies focused on on-vessel technologies or shoreside or offshore infrastructure including at ports, harbours and wind farms.

Projects that aim to simultaneously demonstrate vessels and infrastructure together must apply into Strand 2 of the competition. If you are in any doubt about which strand to apply into, you must check by email to at least 10 working days before the competition closes. If you apply into the wrong strand, you will be ineligible and your application will not be assessed.

Your demonstration must include the technology or vessel being used in a representative real world operational environment for a period of at least 4 weeks. There is no fixed definition of how projects must undertake their demonstration and use this minimum 4 week period because it will depend on your project, technology and what is required to prove its performance.

We strongly encourage projects to utilise this minimum 4 week period fully and to gather as much performance data as possible. In your application you must clearly state how you plan to undertake the demonstration, including how much time in operational use you currently expect and why this is appropriate for your project. During the demonstration you must validate the technology or vessel’s operation for the use case or target market and capture data on the performance.

Projects which include a vessel intended to operate at sea must include appropriate demonstrations for a minimum of 4 weeks at sea. Projects may undertake initial tests in categorised waters before progressing to sea, subject to compliance with relevant regulations, but this will not count towards the 4 weeks minimum demonstration period.

Vessel demonstrations should plan to be in a variety of sea states. Vessels must comply with and be certificated in accordance with relevant regulations before proceeding to sea.

Projects which include vessels operating on categorised waters, for example, Inland waterways, that will never operate at sea can complete their full demonstration within categorised waters.

Vessels must comply with relevant regulations when undertaking voyages and where appropriate, certificated subject to vessel type. These vessels cannot proceed to sea without relevant seagoing certification.

Projects involving a vessel must engage with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) during the project. The MCA may also contact successful projects shortly after winners are notified to discuss the project. Failure to engage with the MCA when requested could result in your project being suspended or funding withdrawn.

Your project must:

  • underpin a full commercial and operational technology deployment after March 2025 by delivering a meaningful operational demonstration in real world conditions
  • 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, and include a representative end user such as vessel operators, ports or harbour authorities

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

Where your project intends to utilise a vessel, the vessel must 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 freight, passenger, pleasure and commercial vessels. Offshore infrastructure is also in scope, such as Wind Farms.

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.

You must clearly demonstrate how you 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 encourage projects that have been successful and were funded by the Clean Maritime Demonstrator Competition Round 1, to apply for further funding support to continue the development of your project. You are not required to have been successful in a previous round of the Clean Maritime Demonstrator Competitions to apply with an eligible project to Round 3.

If you have been funded for a project in the recent Round 2 of the Clean Maritime Demonstrator Competition, you are not eligible to apply for funding to demonstrate the same project or technology concept in Round 3. Further funding opportunities to progress Round 2 winners will be made available in 2023.

Once your project is completed, you are expected to be at the point that you are investment and construction ready to fully scale the solution and take it to market.

At the end of your real world operational demonstration project, you must:

  • produce a clear, detailed and costed plan for how the solution will be fully scaled and taken to UK and global markets over the next 3 years, 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 reduction of lifecycle emissions and positive economic impacts in the future, including citing usage data from the demonstration
  • explain your understanding of any remaining barriers to full market adoption
  • detail the expected commercial applications and exploitation to target customers, and potential market segments for your outcomes
  • share your findings with DfT, Maritime and Coastguard agency (MCA) and Innovate UK in your end of project report.
  • produce a detailed plan for disseminating the results of your demonstration project and knowledge sharing with clean maritime stakeholders and industry

Domestic green shipping corridors

If your proposal focusses on a demonstration of a domestic green shipping corridor, you must demonstrate a vessel navigating between both ends of the corridor in real world operational setting. To qualify as a corridor, at least one zero-emission vessel must be transiting the route between two UK ports during the minimum 4 week demonstration period.

If your domestic green shipping corridor project requires investment in both vessel and infrastructure at either end of the corridor then you should apply into Strand 2.

At the end of your green corridor project must also:

  • state 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
  • prove the direct and indirect environmental impacts from delivering the corridors, including impacts on greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions,
  • produce a clear plan 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
  • demonstrate potential scalable zero emission energy source options for the corridor, quantify the energy requirements 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
  • prove the design of the zero-emission vessels that are being used on the corridor, for example, newbuild or retrofit vessels, with a clear plan for how more vessels would be delivered after the demonstration project
  • prove 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
  • 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:

Prioritised theme:

  • domestic green shipping corridors

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, 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, sensor 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 within a port or harbour site

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