Companies can apply for �3m worth of funding for projects to improve marine transport efficiency

R&D competition to boost marine transport efficiency

A £3m R&D competition hopes to encourage businesses to develop new ways to reduce emissions from marine vessels.

The competition, ‘Vessel Efficiency II – better systems at sea', is designed to stimulate the development of systems that can improve the efficiency of boats in the naval leisure and commercial sectors, as well as reducing their CO2 emissions.

Michael Fallon, Business and Energy Minister, announced the launch of the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) competition at the London Boat Show today.

"The marine industry is of vital importance to the UK economy, contributing around £19bn each year, and employing 367,000 people,” he said.

"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 TSB’s first marine-specific collaborative R&D competition launched at last year's London Boat Show and attracted funding requests in excess of three times the available £7m budget. Projects developed through the competition included pioneering propulsion technology, emissions reduction systems and innovative vessel routing systems.

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."

The deadline for expressions of interest is noon on 5 March 2014.

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