The Carbon Trust has launched a study aimed at improving the performance of crew transfer vessels (CTVs) as part of the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) programme.
The initiative will focus on "active fender systems" that improve performance through geometry or adapting fender shapes.
The aim is to reduce the impact forces, improve fender friction with boat landing or reduce fuel consumption.
Seaspeed and Alphasea Marine have been awarded the contract to deliver the project on behalf of the OWA.
Fender specialists, designers and suppliers are also invited to participate in the initiative.
A marine fender is a 'bumper' used to absorb energy when a boat berths against a jetty or bumps against another vessel.