ITOPF has launched a new new oil spill response R&D initiative, funded by the world’s shipowners and their P&I insurers. The ITOPF R&D Award will provide some £50,000 each year to encourage innovative thinking and provide realistic solutions to some of the challenges faced when responding to accidental oil and chemical spills and undertaking environmental monitoring. The ITOPF R&D Award is available to any organisation or R&D establishment worldwide and will fund students from all academic disciplines, but particularly those with an applied scientific focus. Proposals will be evaluated by the ITOPF R&D Committee, comprised of objective scientists with a wealth of experience in maritime and environmental issues and a keen focus on developing young talent in these areas. The initiative is welcomed enthusiastically by the IMO, which has kindly provided staff from its Marine Environment Division to sit on the R&D Committee. The first applications for the ITOPF R&D Award are invited for the 31st December deadline.