The International Maritime Organization is looking for technology companies to give research funds to.

Companies with decarbonisation solutions could win a share of a $500,000 fund and become part of projects in developing countries.

The funding is being offered by the IMO’s Department of Partnerships & Projects, which works to ensure that least developed countries and small island developing states have access to decarbonisation tools in the future.

The department was set up three years ago to advance the ability of developing member states to meet IMO conventions and rules, including building capacity and transferring knowledge between countries.

It has projects related to marine litter, noise and biofouling, as well as the GreenVoyage2050 project focused on decarbonisation and energy efficiency.

The department relies on funds from wealthy countries to seed its projects, and has backing from Norway, Finland, Germany, the European Union and Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi-funded IMO CARES — which stands for Coordinated Actions to Reduce Emissions from Shipping — is now launching a technology challenge, encouraging companies with proven solutions from around the world that can help domestic fleets and ports in least developed countries and small island developing states reduce emissions and decarbonise.

CARES project manager Anton Rhodes said the challenge will come in two parts. The first is for technology companies to apply for between $15,000 and $30,000 to help deliver a project proposal. The total pot for this part of the project is $60,000, so between two and four companies will be selected.

Should the proposal be accepted, the companies could then win a portion of a $500,000 pot to launch the project in one of four countries in Africa or the Caribbean.

This part of the project will be funded by the European Commission, which is renewing its support of a network of five maritime technology coordination centres.

The centres in Africa and the Caribbean will liaise with the selected technology companies in preparing the proposals and running the projects if the proposals are successful.

The project launch is on 22 November, and technology companies have about six weeks to get their applications in. They will be assessed by a global panel of experts, and the winners of the first tranche of funds will be announced in February.

The companies will then be given a few weeks to prepare their proposals for submission, and if they win acceptance, can prepare and launch a project in the chosen country with the support of the EU-funded Global MTCC Network.

The selected projects could then run for up to two years. The results will be disseminated and evaluated to help developing countries transition their maritime industries.