The propulsion innovation of a flapping-foil thruster, arranged at the bow and below the hull of the ship, shows significant reduction in fuel consumption and emission reduction. The development of this innovation, together with a dual-fuel engine innovation, are the objectives of the SeaTech H2020 project which deals with the decarbonisation challenge in maritime industry. This paper examines the performance of the foil thruster innovation followed by an assessment of its economic impacts, through a life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) framework, focusing mainly on the foil’s operation. The initial challenge focuses on the performance of the flapping-foil thruster, namely its combined performance in waves with the ship engine. The second challenge is to have a first approximation of the economic benefits of the foil thruster performance. The LCCA results will provide useful insight with respect to life-cycle operation costs and should support the decision-making during the development of the full scale of the foil thruster innovation.