The German government has set binding greenhouse gas emission reductions for the transport sector in the Climate Protection Act (Klimaschutzgesetz). A necessary prerequisite for achieving the climate protection targets is the introduction of renewable fuels into the market, especially in aviation and shipping, but also in road transport. In recent years, research and development for the production of advanced biofuels as well as green hydrogen and fuels that are based on it (power-to-liquid (PtL)/power-to-gas (PtG)) or energy carriers (liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC)) has been significantly advanced. Tests and validations of these renewable fuel options have been conducted on a laboratory scale and some tests have already been conducted in relevant operational environments for maritime applications. The aim of this funding call is now to further develop the various paths for the production of renewable marine fuels. For this purpose, depending on the respective technological readiness level (TRL), these must be tested at least in relevant application environments for maritime applications (TRL 5) and, where possible, transferred to a pilot or demonstration scale for the relevant application environment (TRL 6), up to real maritime deployment (TRL 7).

Alongside measures to increase energy efficiency, the long-term goal of climate-neutral shipping can essentially be achieved by transforming the energy base towards renewably produced fuels. Both internal combustion engines and fuel cells, which are operated on the basis of renewably produced hydrogen, hydrogen-based derivatives or advanced biofuels, are proving to be sustainable propulsion and energy system options for the internationally active shipping sector.

The focus of the guideline for funding measures for the development of renewable fuels, under which this call for funding is published, is on application-oriented projects. In addition to universities, colleges and non-university research institutions, the funding is also intended to support commercial enterprises and municipal companies, such as in the areas of plant construction, component manufacture (electrolysis, synthesis processes) and fuel production and use, in the (further) development of necessary technology solutions. Within the framework of this funding guideline, the “Development of electricity-based fuels and advanced biofuels for maritime applications” (“Entwicklung strombasierter Kraftstoffe und fortschrittlicher Biokraftstoffe für maritime Anwendungen”) funding call is conceived to contribute towards achieving the formulated objective.

The following projects are, in particular,  eligible for funding under this call for submissions:

  • Individual and collaborative projects in which concepts and processes for process chains for sustainable renewable marine fuel production are further developed.
  • The development of technologies and processes for the production and conditioning of advanced biofuels (including bio-LNG, bio-methanol), green hydrogen, PtL and PtG fuels (including e-methanol, e-ammonia, SNG), and LOHC for maritime applications.
  • Hybrid processes based on green hydrogen and biogenic components.
  • All fuel production stages in concept and process development.
  • Pilot and demonstration plants for fuel production along the entire production value chain.

Funding requirements of this call for submissions:

  • The focus is explicitly on application-related projects; basic research is not funded.
  • The project proposal must demonstrate a high degree of innovation and novelty, and be sufficiently differentiated from completed and ongoing research work.
  • Biofuel or hybrid biofuel projects are only eligible for funding if they exclusively use raw materials in accordance with Annex IX Part A of the Renewable Energies Directive (EU 2018/2001).
  • Verification of sufficient market and value creation potential, to be presented in the outline submission, must be carried out. Preference will be given to projects with significant participation by companies.


Interested parties have the opportunity to learn more about the new funding call on 13 January 2023 in an online seminar organised by NOW GmbH, which has been commissioned by the BMDV to implement the funding measure. You can register for the online seminar here.