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'Cleaner Shipping' Gets £34 Million from UK Taxpayers to Boost Next Round of Innovative Tech Funding

UK taxpayer funding for the maritime sector to develop sustainable technologies that help connect people, goods, and services in a cleaner, greener way


  • new technologies that will help decarbonise shipping bolstered by £34 million in taxpayer funding

  • the fourth round of the 'clean maritime' demonstration competition (CMDC4) will support UK industry to deliver net zero in the maritime sector

  • winners of previous rounds have included projects to develop a brand new fully electric ferry for the River Thames and an electric charging system to power vessels at offshore wind farms


The maritime sector given greater support to deliver innovative solutions and new technology in the race to decarbonise the industry and grow the economy, as the government commits £34 million of taxpayer funding, part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) today (7 July 2023).


With the fourth round of funding, this brings the total invested through the CMDC to £129 million. The competition looks to foster and promote continued progress toward reaching our net zero goals through the development of novel and sustainable technologies that will help connect people, goods, and services in a cleaner, greener way.


Maritime Minister Baroness Charlotte Vere said:

Pushing the boundaries of possibility is integral to the UK’s global ambition of a greener maritime sector. That’s why today’s new round of funding continues to set that course, not only keeping our climate goals on track but also boosting opportunities for private investment, new jobs and growing the economy.
The UK’s maritime sector is one of the most competitive and innovative in the world and today’s latest clean maritime demonstration competition funding is testament to that.

Today’s taxpayer funding will open for applications on 2 August until 27 September. The competition scope and eligibility criteria are available to read on the competition web page now.


Prospective bids will be assessed against a range of criteria to see how likely they will deliver real-world demonstrations of clean maritime technology. This can include everything from creating alternative fuel sources for freight ships to pushing the limits of battery-powered vessels.


A total of 105 projects across the UK have been awarded more than £95 million in the first 3 rounds of the CMDC to support the design and development of clean maritime solutions towards commercialisation.


One example of this is MJR Controls, which has been developing a charging system that can be installed on offshore wind turbines. This will power electric crew transfer boats and maintenance vessels operating in offshore wind farms, reducing carbon emissions.


Elsewhere, Collins River Enterprises has been awarded £6 million of funding to demonstrate a zero-emission electric river ferry from Canary Wharf to Rotherhithe in London. The ferry will provide a sustainable alternative to a polluting drive or busy tube and create a blueprint for sustainable ferry crossings across the UK and around the world.


UK Chamber of Shipping Chief Executive Sarah Treseder said:

Instilling confidence in the UK shipping industry to invest in new technologies and fuels is central to reaching net zero. This funding, with a focus on real world demonstrations, will help to do that and unlock investment from across the shipping community to deliver the technologies that will reduce emissions while ensuring shipping remains at the heart of the UK’s economy.

Through the development of both business and consumer-focused tech, this competition is ensuring that UK maintains its status as a world leader across all facets of the maritime sector and builds on our Clean maritime plan and Maritime 2050 ambitions. This ongoing focus to foster green maritime technology will not only showcase the UK as a base for private investment but help boost the possibility of future jobs in the maritime sector, grow the economy and highlight how the UK sector is at the cutting edge.


The CMDC is funded by the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) and delivered by Innovate UK. UK SHORE is a programme within the DfT focused on accelerating the technology necessary to decarbonise the domestic maritime sector and is delivering a suite of interventions aimed at addressing different barriers to maritime decarbonisation.

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