The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has launched its new ADMIRALTY Marine Innovation Programme, the organisation has announced. Spearheaded by the UKHO’s Research, Design and Innovation team and RE_SET, the programme will give innovators and start-ups a chance to develop new solutions that solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges when it comes to our oceans.
The launch of this programme follows extensive research commissioned by the UKHO into the Blue Economy, which is estimated to be worth £3.2 trillion by the year 2030. Marine geospatial data will play an essential role in supporting this growth by enabling the identification of new areas for tidal and wind energy generation, supporting safe navigation for larger autonomous ships, playing a vital role in mitigating the effects of climate change and more.
Successful innovation programme participants will develop their own solutions for these areas, using ADMIRALTY data sets that range from seabed composition samples and bathymetric profiles of the seafloor, to tidal and navigational information. Entrants to some challenges will also work alongside leading experts in research, design and development at the UKHO, with winners receiving an opportunity to launch their products into some of the world’s fastest growing marine sectors.
From today, the UKHO are looking for applicants for its first innovation challenge: Unlocking Autonomous Navigation. The aim is to identify, trial and prove how navigational data can be used to support the safe navigation of Marine Autonomous Surface Ships. Each selected participant will have access to ADMIRALTY data and expertise, with winners receiving prizes worth £175,000 and an opportunity to launch their product in a sector estimated to be worth £111bn by 2030. Applications for this challenge will close on 7th October 2020.
Subsequent challenges will invite innovators to develop solutions for areas including maritime insurance, tidal and wave energy generation, blue carbon sequestration and sea-level rise modelling. Dates for these challenges will be confirmed throughout 2020 and 2021.
Commenting on the launch of the ADMIRALTY Marine Innovation Programme, Mark Casey, Head of Research, Design and Innovation at the UK Hydrographic Office said, “The launch of our Marine Innovation Programme is an exciting milestone in our journey to help many marine sectors solve some of the core issues that we face. We believe that our challenges will support innovation across the Blue Economy and encourage digital leaders to use marine geospatial data in new and varied ways. We would encourage anyone with the skills or a big idea in these areas to get in touch, get involved, and help unlock the power of marine geospatial data”
Details regarding the whole Marine Innovation Programme can be found on the ADMIRALTY website: https://www.admiralty.co.uk/innovation-programme
Prospective participants can contact the organising teams by sending an email to: UKHO_Innovation_Programme_Event1@ukho.gov.uk