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£7.5M South West Marine and Maritime Launchpad funding

Last week saw the opening of a funding competition under the new “£7.5M South West Marine and Maritime Launchpad funding to support innovation and growth”.

The Marine and Maritime Launchpad

The Marine and Maritime Launchpad has been developed jointly by the Great South West and Maritime UK South West alongside regional partners and Innovate UK.

The vision is to create a global centre of excellence for the testing, development and manufacture of autonomy, digital and clean ocean technologies in alignment with the priorities of the Ocean Futures partnership – a strong thematic cluster, creating a hotbed of innovation with an international reach.

Innovate UK’s Launchpads programme recognises industry clusters with the potential to deliver jobs, growth, and productivity. This is one of eight regional Launchpads funded by Innovate UK this year.

The Marine and Maritime Launchpad is promoted in partnership with Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP, Heart of the South West LEP and Dorset LEP.

Innovate UK funding

As part of the programme, the region is set to receive up to £7.5m of investment to drive innovation and business growth, building on its strengths in marine and maritime.

UK registered organisations can now apply for funding from Innovate UK for business-led projects that grow activities in the marine and maritime cluster in the South West.

Key details include:

  • The competition for funding opens on 23 October 2023 and closes on 6 December 2023
  • Funding is from £15,000 to £1m
  • Funding is to support UK registered businesses driving innovation in their area, businesses must be active or growing your work activities in the marine and maritime innovation cluster in the South West
  • Companies can choose to apply for two different types of funding:
    • smaller-scale financial assistance for a single company between £25k and £100k (referred to as Minimum Financial Assistance / MFA)
    • larger-scale collaborative research and development projects (between £150k and £1m) as part of a consortium (referred to as CR&D)
  • MFA stand open to SMEs and smaller sized entities
  • A business of any size can lead a project in CR&D

Projects under the Great South West Launchpad can focus on:

Marine autonomy Disruptive technology to replace traditional ship-based alternatives for equipment inspection and other marine monitoring operations and enhance safety of the seas.
Clean maritime Achieving net zero through transition to alternative fuel powered vessels using energy from low or zero emission sources or highly efficient batteries, as well as integrating ports into a decarbonised energy network and supplying the fuels of the future.
Digital ocean technologies Leading sensor and communications technology advancement and their connectedness and interoperability, to inform offshore operation by enhancing our understanding of the ocean and any impact upon it.

More details at Launchpad: marine and maritime in the Great South West – Innovate UK KTN (

PKF Francis Clark

At PKF Francis Clark we have a team of marine accounting and advisory specialists who operate across the whole spectrum of the industry, acting for clients who are boat-builders, brokers, yacht-managers, Olympic gold medal winners, boat owners, charter companies and trade representative bodies.

FEATURING: Martin Aldridge
Martin is based in the Poole office. He trained with Grant Thornton before joining a predecessor firm of PKF Francis Clark, becoming a partner in… read more
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