Status: Need is Closed

Biofouling Challenge

Request Number

Point of Contact
Need was closed on
Aug 7, 2018

We are seeking novel approaches to keep a ship’s hull continuously clean of marine organisms (prevent and/or continuously remove biofouling).


Biofouling is a natural process that occurs with any structure placed in contact with water where there is the presence of marine micro-organisms. This problem has plagued shipping since the days of the Phoenicians. It begins immediately after the object is placed in the sea, by the adhesion of organic substances and materials dissolved in water, developing in 4 stages with the growth of marine macro-organisms such as algae, barnacles and mussels. Growth of marine organisms is most prolific in warm shallow waters and when at anchor.


Highly effective, but environmentally toxic, tin-based coating systems were phased out in the 1980s.  Subsequent copper-based biocide coatings proved less environmentally toxic, but are also less effective at controlling biofouling over long periods of time.  Stena is seeking novel approaches to controlling biofouling that eliminates the contradiction between effectiveness and toxicity inherent in commercial coatings.


It is estimated that the expense relating to fuel in the shipping industry, is around 50% of the total cost of operation. Studies have shown that marine growth on a heavily bio fouled hull can increase the power requirements by more than 40%, as compared to a newly coated smooth hull.

Key success Criteria
  1. Technical Viability-- Solutions proposed must be based on sound scientific principles and have laboratory or marine data that demonstrate efficacy. Solutions with in-situ data have more value.
  2. Scale up Potential—Solutions proposed must have a clear pathway to be commercialized on ships. Solutions already in marine markets have higher value.
  3. Costs—Lower installation and operating costs (including labor) have higher value.
  4. Durability—Solutions that offer longer durability than today’s coatings have higher value.  
  5. Ownership—Solutions covered by patents have higher value. At a minimum solutions must show they are not prohibited by other patents in the field.
Possible Approaches
  • Stena is interested in solutions that go beyond the marine biocide and release paint/coatings currently available or under development today. Stena is seeking alternative approaches that are longer-lasting while being more environmentally benign.  
  • We are especially interested in durable solutions that may incorporate Light, Aeration, Electro, Mechanical, Ultra-sonic or other means that can serve as a replacement to or in conjunction with traditional coatings.
Due Date
Jul 31, 2018
Items to be submitted

We are looking for concise, non-confidential proposals. The proposal should describe the technical approach and should ideally include information on the technological readiness of the proposal, any proof of concept data, reference to any peer reviewed publications, and potential route to commercialization.

Client Point of Contact

Alan Gordon
Gallery Moderator(s)
Oliver Worsfold
Request Number
Preferred Collaboration Types
Area of Interest