The UK Transport Secretary is set to announce a £60m funding programme for zero-emission shipping during a keynote address today (29 September) to the Atlantic Future Forum onboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth in New York, US.

To mark this year’s World Maritime Day, UK Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan is announcing funding for the third round of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC), which will run from April 2023 to March 2025 and help give funding to innovative companies and scientists working on emission-free maritime projects.

The address will focus on how maritime security improves global prosperity and protects all of our interests, as well as how more environmentally-friendly shipping can lead to a sustainable future for maritime trade.

From today, UK companies will be able to bid for CMDC funding towards the development of early-stage zero-emission maritime technologies for wider use in the future, as part of the UK Government’s plan to back innovative businesses and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

“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,” said UK Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

“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.”

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The first round of the CMDC was announced as part of the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution in November 2020, allocating £23m funding across 55 projects, to run feasibility studies and technology trials in clean maritime solutions between September 2021 and March 2022.

Also announced today are the winning projects from the second round of the CMDC, launched in May 2022, which saw £12m shared between 121 UK companies working towards zero-emission shipping projects.

Among the winners of the second round of the CMDC are three projects exploring the development of green shipping corridors – zero-emission shipping routes between two ports. These routes build on the Clydebank Declaration backed by 24 states at COP26.

These projects include the Clean Tyne Shipping Corridor, a green shipping corridor from North East England to the Europe Green Shipping Network; and the Green Corridor at Short Straits, which explores green corridors from the Port of Dover to both the Port of Calais and the Port of Dunkirk.

“The maritime sector is of crucial importance to the UK, with more than 95% of our trade running through the major ports that connect us to the global economy. As such an important part of the UK economy, significant change is needed to ensure that the sector adapts to new, clean technologies, reducing maritime emissions,” said Innovate UK Executive Director for Net Zero, Mike Biddle.

“This latest, multi-year round of Government’s CMDC builds on the success of the first two rounds, stimulating innovation to ensure the UK is at the forefront of this transition to make maritime greener.”

Today’s announcement follows the allocation of £206m to support zero-emission sailing and skilled maritime jobs as part of The UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE), announced in March this year.

UK SHORE is implementing a comprehensive research and development programme, including the CMDC, working in partnership with industry to help build greener vessels – from cruises to tankers and leisure boats.