Shipowners and technology companies have been offered a share of a new £60m ($65m) fund to boost decarbonisation efforts in the UK.

Transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan unveiled new cash for the third round of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) on Thursday.

Speaking on World Maritime Day, she said zero-emission vessels, fuels and clean port infrastructure will benefit from the move.

Companies can bid for money from today for early-stage technologies, and the awards will be made between April 2023 and March 2025 to boost innovation and economic growth.

Trevelyan said: “The UK has always been a proud seafaring nation, and helping the maritime sector to be more environmentally friendly will mean it continues to play a key role in the UK’s economy for generations to come.”

She added: “This World Maritime Day we’re announcing funding to harness the best innovations the UK has to offer ― proving that tackling climate change can go hand-in-hand with business innovation, job creation and supercharging economic growth.”

The second round of the CMDC was launched in May this year and has seen £12m shared out between 121 UK companies.

Among the winners are three projects exploring the development of green shipping corridors.

And the money will also fund the development of new ships that “fly” above the surface of the water, reducing operational emissions by 100% and fuel costs by up to 90% by reducing drag.

£1m-plus handed over

Built in Belfast by Artemis Technologies in collaboration with Tidal Transit, ORE Catapult and Lloyd’s Register, the project is receiving over £1m to design a 24-metre workboat to transfer workers to and from offshore wind farms.

Ben Murray, chief executive of Maritime UK, said: “This funding will help all parts of the sector to develop the solutions needed for maritime decarbonisation.”

He added: “Industry is rising to the challenge and co-investing with government to accelerate progress on clean maritime propulsion and infrastructure. If we move quickly, the UK has a generational opportunity to lead globally, exporting cutting-edge solutions to maritime businesses across the world.”

The UK Chamber of Shipping said: “Instilling confidence in the UK shipping industry to invest in new technologies and fuels is central to reaching net zero. Today’s announcement is a welcome step in achieving this and delivering solutions for the sector.”

The Chamber believes the delivery of integrated infrastructure at ports and elsewhere is equally important, however.

“This will ensure that as new fuels are developed and become viable at scale shipping companies have the confidence they will be readily available. We now need to see action to back deployment of this infrastructure and green solutions like shore power, which is already tried, tested and trusted,” it added.