Clean Maritime Call

Expression of Interest competition now open for Department for Transport (DfT) funding, for industrial research to find innovative ways to reduce maritime emissions and to promote the development of technology innovation in UK maritime.


In January 2019 the government published Maritime 2050, a strategic vision for the future of the maritime sector. The Clean Maritime Plan is the Environment Route Map of Maritime 2050, setting out in more detail how Government sees the UK’s transition to a future of zero emission shipping. To support this, Clean Maritime Innovation Call was launched. The call will fund technology, process innovations or services within mid TRL (TRL 3-7) that offer significant improvements to systems, timings, processes or technology for clean maritime services and operations. £1.5M is available for competition. This call is administered by MarRI-UK.

This is an Expression of interest (EOI) competition. There are 2 (two) stages and the whole process takes at least 7 (seven) months.

  1. Expression of Interest (EoI): opens for 6 weeks and is reviewed by MarRI-UK only.
  2. Full proposal: invite only, if successful in the expression of interest stage.

The competition closes at midday 12pm UK time on the deadline stated.


Your proposal

Your project must be in mid TRL (3-7) stages.

Your project must demonstrate good value for money for the UK and potential impact for UK market once further development has been completed.

Your project must have Innovative aspects (e.g. ground-breaking objectives, new technology, process innovations or services), this includes products being used in innovative ways, outside of their original intended use.

Your project must have the potential to reduce greenhouse gases and/or air quality pollutant emissions from the maritime industry. Preference will be given to projects that show the strongest potential to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and/or air quality pollutant emissions from the maritime sector.

Your project must have the potential to deliver on the priorities set out in the Clean Maritime Plan and/or Maritime 2050 Zero Emission shipping sub-theme.

Your project must have the potential to offer significant improvements to systems, timings, processes or technology for clean maritime operations.

Only projects which score well against the following criteria will receive funding from MarRI-UK:

  1. Strategic fit with Maritime 2050.
  2. Value for money for the UK and potential impact of the exploitation of your idea once further development has been completed.
  3. Project deliverables such as time, cost and quality (including risks).
  4. Viability given timescales, deliverables, and resources.
  5. Environmental impact, i.e. the amount of carbon adjustments/air quality improvements your project will achieve compare to current technology

This is an Expression of Interest (EoI) competition. Successful applicants will be invited to submit full proposal (Stage 2). A decision to proceed to Stage 2 will depend on the outcomes from this EoI. Changes from your EoI to proposal will be monitored. Unjustified major change is not acceptable. 


Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Electrification
  • Innovative energy efficiency measures
  • Alternative propulsion
  • Hazard and safety assessment of new fuels
  • Energy systems
  • Alternate fuels

Grant size

  • Funding awards up to £250K, with a mix of funding levels to support a range of readiness levels.
  • In the event of there being many proposals that meet the criteria then we have a preference to fund a majority of smaller projects requiring less funding to have a wide range of initiatives supported, and only a few funded at the higher level.
  • In the event that there are not many proposals submitted, then a greater proportion of proposals could be funded at the higher level, or the money could be reserved for a further bidding round.

Projects we will not fund

We are not funding projects that:

  • Are unrelated to reduction of Maritime emissions to air (GHGs and/or air quality pollutants).
  • Are approaching market readiness
  • Offer only incremental updates to existing abatement options


State aid

  • This funding cannot be used for rescue aid.
  • It is the applicants’ responsibility to be State Aid compliant and demonstrate their bid falls under the General Block Exemption Rules (GBER) for State Aid compliance. Please take legal advice if unsure.

Lead organisation

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

  • be a business of any size with a base in the UK to lead a research project,
  • be a business of any size with a base in the UK, an academic organisation, or a research and technology organisation (RTO) to lead a capital investment project,
  • Carry out your maritime research or technology development project work in the UK,
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK or from or in more than one location including the UK,
  • This is open to single business as well as consortiums.


Bids should be match funded, as set out below:

  • Match funding could be in the form of an identical cash injection from the bidder, to match the amount provided by us, or it could in the form of staffing resource to work on the project. It could also be to fund some of the project, in the case of smaller business, but receive the bulk of the funding from us.
  • In any case a business case for how they will match fund, or why they cannot, should be submitted alongside the bid.
  • To comply with State Aid, a strict requirement will be that we will fund:
    • 70% for a micro and small business, with 30% from the bidder,
    • 60% for a medium-sized business, 40% from bidder,
    • 50% for a large business, 50% from bidder.
  • Business size definition:
  • Research organisations can be funded 100% by the call.
  • Business funding is capped at 70%.
  • For fundamental research, it will be possible to receive 100% funding.
  • Cap at 30% allocation of total fund for Fundamental Research/ start up ideas to incentivise later stage research which has already been developed from an initial proof of concept.


Stage 1

  • 29 July 2019: Expression of Interest (EoI) submission open
  • 25 October 2019: EoI submission closed
  • 28 October – 6 December 2019: EoI assessment

Stage 2

  • 9 December 2019: Invitation to submit full proposal release, submission for full proposal open
  • 14 February 2020: Submission for full proposal closed
  • 17 February – 10 April 2020: Proposal assessment
  • 13 April 2020: Funding award announcement

How to Apply

The links for the application process can be found on the right hand side of this page.

You can save your application and return to change and/or complete your application as much as you want before the deadline.

The application consists of two sections. The first section provides background for the reviewers and are not scored.

Section 1: Project information


  1. Project title
  2. Lead organisation
  3. Business size
  4. Partners (if any)
  5. Project summary
  6. Project duration
  7. Alignment with Clean Maritime Plan priorities and/or Maritime 2050 Zero Emission Shipping sub-theme

Section 2: Application questions

  1. Describe your project, including deliverables
  2. Why the project is worth doing
  3. What is the innovative aspect of the project
  4. What is the potential environmental impact if the project was conducted
  5. How the project can potentially deliver on the priorities set out in the Clean Maritime Plan and/or Maritime 2050 Zero Emission Shipping sub-theme
  6. How much the project will cost
  7. What level of funding is requested from MarRI-UK
  8. How the funding will be matched
  9. Who would the project team include, and what skills/ expertise
  10. How would you deliver the project, i.e. timescales, workstreams and project plan

There are word limitations to answer each questions.

IMPORTANT: as precaution for any unforseen technical issues, always remembr to save your answers frequently or draft them in words document then copy and paste it to the form.

If you have any questions on the application process, please email:

Clean Maritime Winner Announced

The Winners of the Clean Maritime Call have been announced.

Please use the following link to find out more.