Maritime SME Innovation Funding Guide

This guide is designed to help entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs and growing companies innovating in the maritime industry or thinking of applying their innovations to solve maritime problems make the right funding choices.

Insights and knowledge from maritime specialists have been collated to create this single reference point for maritime innovation funding. Technical and industry experts involved in the work include Connected Places Catapult’s SME Innovation Support team, investors and sector leaders recognised in the maritime ecosystem. 

This guide’s aim is to give as complete a view as possible of the sources of innovation support by critically reviewing more well-known ones, such as Innovate UK grants, along with less known or often overlooked opportunities, such as alternative finance and tax incentives.   

The guide also looks at non-financial support that accelerators and similar programmes offer within the maritime sector. The advice should help entrepreneurs make informed decisions about the best course of action depending on their growth strategy and needs.  

By 2030 all commercial shipping must reduce emissions by a minimum of 40% and by at least 50% by 2050. Faced with this mammoth challenge of aiming for carbon neutrality in a shrinking timespan, the maritime sector is going to have to place a greater role on innovative SMEs to bring that sought transition to reality. Be they maritime “native” or pulled through from other sectors, for innovations to take off they need to be underpinned by a sound, diversified funding strategy that looks across the board for the right mix of public and private capital. This guide’s goal is to provide you with the building blocks of this strategy.  

The SME Innovation Support team at Connected Places Catapult is available throughout the year to discuss any of the opportunities in this guide and regularly share new opportunities through focused scouting and newsletter communication. Joining the SME Network and keeping up to date with the funding options in this guide only requires answers to a few questions that can be completed here.

Maritime SME Innovation Funding Guide
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