Applications are now closed


Application support webinar - the recording is now available to watch here

The webinar covered information on the challenges that have been set, alongside supporting information on the overall programme vision and guidance on the application process.

Key Dates

1st Aug

Applications Open

15th Aug


21st Sept

Application Deadline

10th & 11th Oct

Technical Due Diligence

18th & 19th Oct

Commercial Due Diligence

21st Oct

Cohort Selection

2nd Nov

Welcome Week


Demo Day


What is the Maritime Accelerator?

The Maritime Accelerator is a brand-new programme powered by Connected Places Catapult, designed to support SMEs with innovative solutions that can be applied to the Maritime space. 

About the Programme

The accelerator will be selecting 10 SMEs at TRL 6+ to join a 5-month programme,  where they will have the opportunity to work with a consortium of strategic partners which includes Port of Tyne,  National Shipbuilding Office, DP World, National Oceanography Centre, University of Plymouth, and Serco.

Industry partners and academic partners will play an active role in challenge setting, SME selection, product validation and provide access to testing facilities and internal expertise. One of the main programme aims is to maximise commercial engagement, and selected SMEs will actively explore trial opportunities with programme partners. 

Connected Places Catapult will be delivering the programme, supporting the cohort through a bespoke programme roadmap tailored to their business needs, this will include but is not limited to:  investment readiness, business modelling, customer profiling and enterprise selling.

Accelerator Challenges

Coordinating and normalising data accessibility across the maritime value chain to improve efficiency

We asked the industry and academic partners:  how might we…
  • use data to increase the integration of other transport modes with the maritime sector (e.g. rail, road freight etc.)?
  • leverage an open, shareable, non-commercial and trusted data system that enables the industry to gain value in the end-to-end supply chain?
  • encourage data exchanges amongst on-land and at-sea maritime industry players (harbour operations, logistics, shipping companies, etc.) to improve operational efficiency?

Apply for this challenge if your solution can:
  • increase the integration of other transport modes (e.g., rail or road) with maritime sector through data
  • increase data exchange and accessibility amongst on-land and at-sea maritime industry players (e.g. harbour operations and shipping companies)

Facilitating access to best practices across sectors to improve existing maritime infrastructure

We asked the industry and academic partners:  how might we…
  • enable early-stage innovations to be tested and integrated into existing infrastructure?
  • use learnings from other industries to better model future fuelling options and energy demands (ship types/vessel routes/ports etc.)?
  • leverage existing insights for more accurate demand forecasting to increase efficiency of UK port infrastructure?

Apply for this challenge if your solution can:
  • improve the existing maritime infrastructure (e.g., fuelling options or meeting energy demands)
  • improve forecasting to increase port infrastructure efficiency

Enabling access to new technologies to accelerate decarbonisation in the maritime sector

We asked the industry and academic partners:  how might we…
  • use new technologies to retrofit existing maritime technology, port-related assets and new designs to be greener?
  • use innovative technologies for logistical route optimisation to support decarbonisation of on-land and at-sea operations?
  • identify the most inefficient energy consumption activities across the value chain and eliminate them?

Apply for this challenge if your solution can:
  • improve the design of port-related assets to be greener
  • help decarbonise the on-land and at-sea operations and logistics
  • help identify energy inefficiencies to eliminate them

Apply Now

What's on offer to SMEs

Coaching and Mentoring

Including pitch coaching, business support and VC support

Solution Showcase

Demonstration Day to investors, industry and potential customers

Investment Readiness

Tailored investment readiness programme, with support from investment coaches

Growth Focus

5 months tailored business support

Funding Advice

including CR&D and grant opportunities

Technical Support

Technical support and sprints and access to technical experts

Business Development

Business development opportunities and introduction to potential customers

Accelerator goals

  • Bespoke business support to 10 disruptive SMEs
  • Accelerate investment readiness and develop investment strategies
  • Focus on facilitating discussions that lead to commercial contracts
  • Support collaborative R&D - where appropriate/applicable 
  • Agile sprints and technical focused sessions to develop technologies and meet challenge requirements
  • Support the implementation of potential trials with programme partners
  • Support development of FTEs

Am I eligible for this programme?

  • You must  be an SME
  • You must  have or look to register a UK company address
  • Preferably an innovative solution at TRL 6 - 8
  • You must  be able to address the challenge statements with your technology
  • You must  be willing to travel on occasion for face to face meetings (but most of the programme will be conducted virtually)

Strategic Partners

Programme Team

If you have any question about the programme, please reach out to the team below:

Iwona Wilk

Programme Manager
Connected Places Catapult

Alice Johnson

Accelerator Team Lead
Connected Places Catapult


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