Innovators working on marine vessel efficiency are being encouraged to apply for funding through a competition being run by the Technology Strategy Board and its partners.
The £8m investment will be made by the Technology Strategy Board, the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and Scottish Enterprise through a competition for funding of fast-track and collaborative research and development (R&D) projects.
Dubbed ‘Vessel Efficiency: Piloting Marine and Maritime Innovation’, the competition is encouraging proposals from businesses to develop solutions covering technology areas that have the potential to improve efficiency in existing and future ships, boats and submarines and their associated equipment and systems.
In a statement, David Sherburn, maritime domain leader at the Dstl, said: ‘Military and civil operators are faced with the same challenges of reducing fuel use, with the Royal Navy targeted to reduce fossil fuel use by 18 per cent by 2020. Hence there is significant overlap in the utility of vessel efficiency technologies between the military and civil markets.’
Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, added: ‘The UK’s marine industries employ more than 90,000 people, generate more than £10bn turnover and have tremendous prospects for growth through innovation.’
The competition opens in January 2013 and the Technology Strategy Board said funds will go to projects within low-carbon/green shipping and propulsion and marine ICT that can contribute to more efficiently designed vessels across all marine and maritime industries.
Proposals should show that efficiency gains of a minimum of five per cent for current vessels could be achieved, with targets of up to 25 per cent on future designs.
Around 10 per cent of the funding will be available for fast-track projects, each lasting between six and 12 months. These must be collaborative and led by a business and include a small or micro business.
A second stream of funding will be for larger business-led collaborative R&D projects that are expected to last between 12 and 36 months.
Further information about the ‘Vessel Efficiency: Piloting Marine and Maritime Innovation’ competition for funding can be found here.