Maritime Accelerator 2024

Applications closed

Introducing the Maritime Accelerator 2024, a dynamic initiative powered by Connected Places Catapult, dedicated to nurturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with pioneering solutions applicable to the maritime industry and beyond.

We are directly collaborating with a consortium of programme partners, comprising DP World, Houlder, Maersk, National Shipbuilding Office, Portsmouth International Port, Port of Tyne, the Royal Navy, Serco, and the University of Plymouth.

Our partners actively contribute to challenge setting, SME selection, and provide invaluable access to internal expertise and testing facilities, ensuring that every SME in our programme receives support tailored to their unique needs.

Our exclusive 5-month programme is seeking a cohort of up to 8 SMEs operating at TRL 5-8. Through modules and 1-on-1 support, encompassing market targeting, value proposition refinement, strategic pricing, financial forecasting, and compelling communication strategies, we are committed to empowering SMEs to elevate their investment readiness, fine-tune business models, and master the art of customer profiling and enterprise selling.

The Maritime Accelerator isn’t just a programme; it is a transformative journey, paving the way for SMEs to thrive, innovate, and leave a lasting mark on the maritime landscape.

Successful applicants will be able to apply for between £10K-£20K of programme funding to deliver a trial of their solution with one of the programme partners.

The accelerator challenges and eligibility criteria can be found below.

Application Support Webinar

Connected Places Catapult recently held a webinar to give applicants to the Maritime Accelerator the opportunity to find out more about the programme offering, challenges, application process, scoring criteria, and the assessment process. Watch the webinar below.

There will also be a series of two drop-in session to ask further questions from potential applicants.

Register for the drop in sessions

Key Dates

Programme Challenges

1: Power, Propulsion and Vessel Operations

How might we create or improve power and propulsion systems for ports and vessels?

We are looking for innovative solutions that improve:

  • Storage and distribution systems (including supply chain considerations) for electrification and future fuels (such as biofuels and hydrogen derivatives)
  • Propulsion systems for a wide range of vessels and port operations
  • Understanding of port assets and vessel retrofitting techniques and design

2: Shore side Technology and Infrastructure

How might we enhance current shore side technology and management of port infrastructure?

We are looking for innovative solutions that:

  • Streamline management of incoming vehicles
  • Improve inspections of underwater and underground facilities
  • Safely secure assets from movement when in berth

3: Safety and Security

How might we deploy innovative solutions that increase safety and security using novel training methods and technologies?

We are looking for innovative solutions that can:

  • Increase safety of equipment and personnel interactions
  • Improve understanding of safety metrics and trends
  • Enhance incident detection and risk assessment at ports
  • Support upskilling and training for port specific safety and staff inductions

4: Resource Management

How might we enhance port resource management and operations?

We are looking for innovative solutions that improve:

  • Environmental monitoring including, but not limited to, asset health and optimisation of energy usage
  • Space, asset and stock management through sensor data intelligence
  • Optimisation of internal labour and third-party contractors

What’s on offer to SMEs?

Coaching and Mentoring

Including pitch coaching, business support and VC support

Investment Readiness

Tailored investment readiness programme, with support from investment coaches

Funding Opportunities

Opportunity to access our fund for trial proposal development or trialling

Trial Support

Trial design, deployment support, mentoring and evaluation

Business Development

4-month tailored business development support and introductions

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, applicants: 

  • you must be a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).
  • you must be UK-registered.
  • you must have a solution which is technical readiness level (TRL) 5 – 8. This means that the solution has, at least, been tested or demonstrated in its intended environment and, at most, has been deployed as a first-of-a-kind commercial system.
  • your solution must address one or more of the identified challenges.
  • you already operate in the maritime sector, or you are looking to bring your solution into maritime space from another sector.
  • you must be willing to travel on occasion for face-to-face meetings (but most of the programme will be conducted virtually).

How to apply

Applications are now closed.

Supporting Documents

Accelerator Terms & ConditionsApplication Guidance

Strategic Partners

Text reads "Port of Tyne" with a wavy line below, all in purple.
The image shows the University of Plymouth logo, featuring the university's name next to a shield with nautical and floral symbols.
The image shows the word "HOULDER" in blue capital letters with a stylized cross symbol to the left.
Logo of DP World, featuring a stylized globe with red and green curved lines intersecting it, positioned above the text "DP WORLD" in bold, black capital letters.
Logo of Portsmouth International Port with the text in blue and wavy lines at the bottom.
Logo of the National Shipbuilding Office featuring a black lion and unicorn crest, with the text "National Shipbuilding Office" in black letters.
The image displays the Royal Navy logo with the text "Royal Navy" beneath a waving flag featuring the Union Jack and a red cross.
The image shows the Serco logo with the company name in lowercase gray letters and a red oval shape below the 'o'.
Maersk logo with a light blue rectangle featuring a white star on the left and the word "MAERSK" in black sans-serif font on the right.

Point of contact

If you have any questions about the programme and the application process, please reach out to the team below:

Iwona Wilk

Programme Manager – Maritime Accelerator


Venetia Hulse

Accelerator Team Lead