UKHO launches new innovation programme to support development of the Blue Economy

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The UK Hydrographic Office has launched its new ADMIRALTY Marine Innovation Programme, the organisation announced today. 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 UK Hydrographic Office 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.

Challenge details

From today, the UKHO are looking for applicants for its first innovation challenge.

Unlocking Autonomous Navigation challenge – 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 7 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

Find out more

You can find out more about the programme on the ADMIRALTY website:

Prospective participants can contact the organising teams by sending an email to: UKHO_Innovation_Programme_Event1@ukho.gov.uk

Blue economy research

The launch of the ADMIRALTY Marine Innovation Programme follows extensive research commissioned by the UK Hydrographic Office into the Blue Economy. Our global Blue Economy, referring to all ocean-related activities, is experiencing a series of transformations under the combined influence of rising populations, increasing incomes, scarcer natural resources, a changing climate and rapidly evolving technologies.

A ‘new’ Blue Economy is developing as established economic sectors are being disrupted and new economic sectors emerge, paving the way to a smart, sustainable and resilient use of ocean ecosystems.

This includes the autonomous shipping sector which is estimated be worth £111 billion and employ 554,000 people by 2030.

You can find out more about this sector in the UKHO’s latest report on the Autonomous Vessels and Navigation sector.

 

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