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£3 million innovation boost for UK maritime and marine sector

UK’s innovation agency has launched an R&D competition that will see businesses developing solutions to increase ship efficiency and reduce marine emissions receive a £3 million boost.

The ‘Vessel Efficiency II: better systems at sea’ competition opened on January 6th. It follows a similar competition last year which attracted total funding requests in excess of three times the available £7 million budget.

The entries must be collaborative and business-led. The Technology Strategy Board (TSB), which runs the competition, expects to fund industrial research projects in which a business partner will generally attract up to 50 per cent public funding for their project costs (60 per cent for SMEs).

It is a two-stage competition and the deadline for all expressions of interest is noon on 5 March 2014.

“The marine industry is of vital importance to the UK economy, contributing around £19 billion each year, and employing 367,000 people,” said Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon as he announced the opening of the competition.

“We want to encourage the very best in creativity and innovation within the industry in order to ensure its long term success and global competitiveness.”

The competition is aimed at UK businesses developing solutions to reduce emissions in naval, leisure and merchant marine vessels and improve their overall efficiency.

TSB chief executive Iain Gray said: “There is huge appetite among UK companies in the maritime and marine sector to deliver innovation, particularly in achieving more low carbon and efficient systems.”

“The number and quality of proposals submitted last year was excellent and we look forward to receiving a positive response to this new competition.”

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