Marico Marine, an independent marine consultancy providing solutions for ports, harbours and energy sectors globally, has been crowned the winner of the third ADMIRALTY Marine Innovation Programme challenge.
The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) asked participants to demonstrate how marine geospatial data could help identify new areas for offshore renewable energy infrastructure.
The challenge gave innovators and start-ups the chance to develop solutions that solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges when it comes to oceans.
Marico Marine developed a geospatial constraints mapping toolkit that helps developers and regulators to understand the impact shipping could have on projects early in the planning process.
By combining ADMIRALTY data with advanced geographical information system (GIS) analysis and professional mariner expertise, the toolkit will allow the identification of potential hotspots within proposed project boundaries.
According to UKHO, the impact projects could have on shipping and wider maritime navigation is a key consideration for consenting authorities, yet it is often considered late in the licence application process. Marico Marine’s solution will make it commercially viable for shipping and wider maritime navigation implications to be considered at an earlier stage, potentially saving “millions of pounds of investment”.
André Cocuccio, Marico Marine’s UK Director said: “We are extremely proud to be selected by the UKHO as winners of this innovation challenge and have ambitious plans for the solution in the offshore renewables market.
“Through this partnership, the opportunity for Marico to develop an alpha product supported by expertise and authoritative data supplied by the UKHO is an exciting one. Shipping and navigation is a complex receptor to evaluate, and our product is targeted at reducing the likelihood that proposed projects are rejected on these grounds. We are looking forward to the months ahead and developing a powerful product with the UKHO that we hope will have a real impact in the industry.”
Mark Casey, Head of UKHO’s Research, Design and Innovation team added Marico Marine’s solution will help to grow the offshore sector by giving developers access to marine geospatial data that helps to identify the best locations for new energy infrastructure.
He said: “I’d like to congratulate Marico Marine on developing this fantastic solution. As we enter the UN’s ‘Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development’, we need to find new ways to grow our marine economy whilst reducing our impact on the environment.
“Ocean renewables can help us to achieve this balance by reducing our dependency on damaging fossil fuels and helping communities around the world to access a more sustainable source of energy.”