Christine Rolin, senior project manager for the GreenOffshoreTech project on behalf of HIE, takes a closer look at the project’s second call for proposals and how SMEs can access innovation funding.

With two thirds of the UK coastline in the Highlands and Islands, the marine sector is a major contributor to the region’s economy. It includes aquaculture, marine renewables, marine biotechnology, coastal and marine tourism and life sciences companies.

Through multi-national research project, GreenOffshoreTech, a unique opportunity is being provided for Scottish businesses operating in the marine sector to connect and collaborate with likeminded, ambitious enterprises from European partner regions.

Businesses will be supported to develop and commercialise new ideas for greener, cleaner and sustainable products and services. The deadline for call for proposals is 24th March and we encourage businesses from aross Scotland to apply for funding and support.

My role is to represent HIE in the international consortium of 15 European partners. I’ll be engaging with businesses across Scotland interested in participating in the EU GreenOffshoreTech project.

The project aims to support innovation in businesses to achieve economic and environmental sustainability in the marine environment by applying new technologies.

The international consortium was granted €5m from Horizon 2020 to directly support at least 100 businesses across Europe to make offshore production and transport cleaner, greener and more sustainable through technology driven re-industrialisation. These activities will help our region transition towards a resource efficient economy.

GreenOffshoreTech focuses on four key industry sectors: offshore wind energy, aquaculture, offshore oil and gas and water-borne transport as well as four emerging technology sectors: advanced materials, advanced manufacturing and digitalisation, environment technologies and new energy carriers.

The project is a fantastic opportunity for businesses who have a great business idea to be supported to progress from conception to production. They will benefit from the creation of an Open Space to enable future collaborations and attempts to support them to grow their business.

We’ll provide a structured framework for businesses to deliver innovation support through direct financial support as well as offering a range of dedicated support services for them. Many innovative ideas struggle to move from concept to production. The GreenOffshoreTech project specifically seeks to help SMEs overcome this hurdle in the development process by funding projects at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 – 6, a phase known as ‘The Innovation Valley of Death’. 

Through a 3-Phase accelerator programme, SMEs will unlock up to a total of €60,000 (projects are 100% funded) and up to 8 business support services:

  • In Phase 1, businesses will receive €5000 and access business services to develop an initial business plan including B2B networking across the European cluster groups.
  • In Phase 2, the top 50% of projects will be selected based on Phase 1. SMEs will receive €45,000 and business support services to develop a prototype. Key services will include one to one business coaching, branding and investor pitching training. Finally, all top 50 projects will have an opportunity to pitch to real investors.
  • The final top 25% of projects will receive a final €10,000 to help grow their business.

SMEs across Scotland are eligible to apply, some of the sector and topics have been expanded from Call 1 in Call 2 to enable a wider range of businesses to apply who have solutions that will green the marine sectors. If you are interested to find out more and discuss you specific project idea please contact us through the form on the website

For further information and to access the full application package, visit 

For anyone interested in making offshore production sectors clean, green and sustainable, we’d love to hear from you!

Applications close on 24 March 2023.

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