Maritime firms have just over a month left to apply for a slice of a £60m maritime decarbonisation fund.
Addressing an audience of maritime businesses at an event at Mersey Maritime in Birkenhead, Department for Transport senior official Kate Drury said grants of up to £10m were on offer in round three of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC).
In March the Department Transport set up UK SHORE (UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions). It has been tasked with allocating £206m to fund projects designed to help slash emissions across the maritime sector.
Round one of the CDMC was launched in March 2021 and ended in March 2022. It allocated up to £23m funding to 55 projects across the UK to deliver feasibility studies and technology trials in clean maritime technology.
These projects comprised 208 partners from across the UK and represent a total investment of £33.5m.
In May this year round two was started. It ends in August 2023 and has seen £12m allocated to 31 projects. They comprise of 121 partners from across the UK and represent a total investment of £20.8m.
Now UK SHORE is inviting applications for the third round, where £60m will be offered in total. Closing date is 11am on Wednesday, November 9. Winners will be notified in January and it will run for two years from April 2023 to March 2025. It covers projects valued at between £1m and £10m.
“We are looking to create a pipeline of projects,” said Kate. “It is about tackling the barriers and developing consumer confidence to help us to reach net zero. We want to progress these ideas and technology, commercialise them and bring them to market.”
James Lovett, innovation lead for maritime technology at Innovate UK, also addressed the event at Mersey Maritime. He said the aim of the project was not just to create a pipeline of decarbonisation projects but also to help create new, high-skilled jobs.
He said the project would cover two strands – ones that focused on vessels or infrastructure and those that focused on both vessels and infrastructure.
In terms of vessels there is a particular focus on propulsions, looking at things such as electric and battery technology and alternative fuels such as hydrogen, methanol and ammonia. Infrastructure would cover areas such as energy generation, charging and fuelling and powering port vehicles and machinery.
“This is the largest clean maritime funding opportunity in the UK,” said James. “Feedback from previous projects was that one year was not enough time which is why round three will be two years in length. It will include a four-week demonstration period.
Matthew Moss, maritime lead at Innovate UK KTN (Knowledge Transfer Network) also spoke about how the CDMC offers opportunities for collaboration with other projects and partners.
He explained: “We know who the innovators are and the key message here is that we can help you find the right partner. We have a platform called Meeting Mojo, which is a little bit like a dating platform. It can bring people together and help them collaborate.”