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Technology and Innovation in UK Maritime - MarRI call (expression of interest stage)

Registration is closed
Funding details
Registration opens
30 Sep 2019, 00:00
Registration closes
20 Dec 2019, 12:00
20 Dec 2019, 12:00
Funding awards up to £170K, which can cover up to 70% of your costs depending on business size.
Department for Transport

In January 2019 the government published the ambitious Maritime 2050 strategy, setting out a long-term vision for the future of the UK maritime sector. The maritime sector is likely to undergo significant changes as technology revolutionises the way the sector operates and environmental concerns create new and more stringent requirements for the maritime industry.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is keen to continue to engage with industry to promote the development of technological innovation in UK maritime. For this reason, Technology and Innovation in UK Maritime Call was launched. The call will fund innovative solutions within mid TRL (TRL 3-7) to demonstrate potential applications for innovative technology or for proof of concept of new ideas in this field. £1.5M is available for competition, which is administered by MarRI-UK.

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

Expression of Interest (EoI): opens for 12 weeks and is reviewed by MarRI-UK only.
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

If applying to this targeted call, applicants are advised to consider this specification to ensure the application questions are clearly addressed, to increase the likelihood of a successful bid.

  • Your project must be in mid TRL (3-7) stages.
  • Your project applications should describe how the proposed solution will be applied in the maritime environment, and the benefits that this will have to maritime operations. This could include safety, reduced cost, improved efficiency, reduced emissions and wider environmental benefits, enhanced situational awareness, etc.
  • Your project applications should clearly demonstrate how the solution relates to the aims and ambitious set out in Maritime 2050 and/or the Technology and Innovation in UK Maritime route-map.
  • Your project must have an innovative aspect, although this does include products being used in innovative ways, outside of their original intended use.
  • 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 the potential to offer significant improvements to systems, timings, processes or technology for clean maritime operations.

Examples of ways in which maritime operations could be supported include, but not limited to:

  • Alternative approaches to port activity and the interaction between the port and the vessel (e.g. berthing technology),
  • Changing the design of a vessel to improve efficiency, make the vessel better suited to the use of autonomy,
  • Enhancing situational awareness using technology or other uses of technology to improve safety,
  • Improving safety of operations in congested waterways,
  • Providing decision support or full autonomy in aspects of maritime operations, etc.

The funding can be used either to develop an initial prototype, a proof of concept or a feasibility study that demonstrates the project’s potential application to maritime operations and/or services.

This is an Expression of Interest (EoI) competition. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a 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.

Grant size

Funding awards up to £170K, with a mix of funding 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

Capability demonstrations of currently marketed or existing maritime technology products are out of scope for this competition and will not receive funding.

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 businesses as well as consortia.


Bids should be match funded, as set out below. Exceptions can be made only if a small start-up would otherwise be unable to bid for money:

  • 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 business, with 30% from the bidder,
    • 60% for a small business, 40% from bidder,
    • 50% for a medium and large business, 50% from bidder.
  • The definition of micro, small, and medium-sized business used by MarRI-UK is set out in the European Commission Recommendation  of 6 May 2003.
  • A large business in this context means any enterprise which is not an SME.
  • Research organisations can be funded 100% by the call.
  • For fundamental research, it will be possible to receive 100% funding.

Stage 1

30 September: Expression of Interest (EoI) submission open
20 December: EoI submission closed
6 Jan 2020 – 14 Feb 2020: EoI assessment

Stage 2

17 February 2020: Invitation to submit full proposal release, submission for full proposal open
10 April 2020: Submission for full proposal closed
13 April – 5 June 2020: Proposal assessment
8 June 2020: Funding award announcement

For further information, visit the funding call page.