New UK innovation programme to support blue economy development

Applicants are being invited for the first innovation challenge, which is to identify, trial and prove how navigational data can be used to support the safe navigation of marine autonomous surface ships

A new programme to support the development of innovative solutions that solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges when it comes to the oceans has been launched.

The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) announced the ADMIRALITY Marine Innovation Programme, which will give innovators and start-ups a chance to develop new solutions to support safe, secure and thriving oceans.

Its research estimates the blue economy to be worth £3.2 trillion by 2030, with marine geospatial data expected to play an essential role in supporting this growth by enabling the identification of new areas for tidal and wind generation, support safe navigation for larger autonomous ships and playing a vital role in mitigating the effects of climate change.

The UKHO is seeking applicants for its first innovation challenge, which is to identify, trial and prove how navigational data can be used to support the safe navigation of marine autonomous surface ships.

They will have access to the ADMIRALITY data and expertise, with winners receiving prizes worth £175,000 and an opportunity to launch their product in a sector estimated to be worth £111 billion by 2030.

The challenge is open until 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.

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.”

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