£33 million boost to turn green ports and ships into a reality

Funding awarded to 33 projects across the UK to develop clean maritime technologies

  • £33 million for new technologies to cut shipping emissions, support jobs in coastal areas and boost local economies
  • total funding awarded through the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) now £128 million, helping support the maritime industry to deliver net zero emissions
  • among the winners are initiatives dedicated to constructing electric vessels and charging ports, propelling a new era of sustainable maritime innovation

Maritime Minister, Lord Davies, has today (26 January 2024) announced the winners of £33 million of government funding to develop green technologies for ports and ships – accelerating the UK’s race to decarbonise the sector while supporting jobs in coastal communities across the country, helping grow the economy in the long term.

The £33 million has been awarded to 33 projects across all 12 regions of the UK to deliver demonstrations, factory trials and feasibility studies. These initiatives position the UK as a leader in emerging clean maritime technologies, fostering sustainable high-skilled jobs across the country and boosting coastal economies.

The funding comes from the fourth round of the government’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC4), which focuses on developing a range of clean maritime technologies including electric, hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, wind power and more.

Lord Davies visited 2 of the winning organisations, Aqua SuperPower and RS Marine Group, in Southampton, to see their pioneering network of electric chargepoints and electric vessels in action. Thanks to CMDC4, these 2 winners will work together to build on their existing electric infrastructure to provide electricity back to ports, harbours and the grid when the vessels are not in use.

Maritime Minister, Lord Davies, said:

"Unlocking a sustainable maritime sector and the economic growth it provides relies on cutting-edge technology to propel it to the next level. The voyage to sustainability demands bold investments to not just deliver greener shipping but highly skilled jobs across the UK.

"Today, we witnessed a firsthand glimpse into the transformative solutions that can help shape the future landscape of the maritime industry and support jobs in coastal communities."

Government funding is a crucial driving force for cutting-edge technology, inspiring investors to engage in pilot incentives. CMDC4 builds on 3 successful previous rounds, which allocated over £95 million to 105 projects and leveraged over £45 million in private investment.

The continued demand for funding underscores the industry’s strong interest in clean maritime investment. This support has also fostered partnership between the government and the private sector – paving the way for exciting innovations that will decarbonise the maritime industry. 

Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, said:

"British Marine is proud to celebrate the achievements of our members, who are leading the way in sustainable maritime innovation and are among the beneficiaries of the government’s £33 million investment in green maritime technology.

"This significant funding is just one way in which the government can help accelerate our industry’s journey to net zero emissions and mark a new era in maritime history. Many of our members are pioneering electric vessels and charging ports, in turn, contributing to environmental sustainability, job creation and the UK’s levelling-up agenda. We’re excited to witness this pivotal shift towards a cleaner, more prosperous maritime future."

Mike Biddle, Innovate UK Executive Director for Net Zero, said:

"The maritime sector continues to demonstrate a keen appetite for decarbonisation, which is highlighted by the 33 winning projects of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 4.

"Today’s announcement shows UK industry is embracing research and development as a solution to a global industry-wide problem and I’m inspired by the ambition of our maritime innovators. 

"The CMDC4 projects will build upon the proven success of previous rounds where the Department for Transport and Innovate UK have worked in partnership to show the UK is a leading voice in maritime’s green transition."

Today’s funding comes from the wider £206 million UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) programme, announced in March 2022.

The CMDC is one of the many initiatives from UK SHORE to fund green technology. Last year, the government launched the Zero Emission Vessels and Infrastructure (ZEVI) competition to support projects in the latter stages of development and the Clean Maritime Research Hub – aimed at the early science and research behind green technology.

Department for Transport
Lord Davies of Gower