The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has launched a new innovation programme to help start-ups and innovators develop solutions for safe, secure and thriving oceans. One of the challenges seeks to identify how navigational data can be used to support the safe navigation of Marine Autonomous Surface Ships.
The ADMIRALTY Marine Innovation Programme, led by UKHO’s Research, Design and Innovation team and RE_SET, aims to give innovators and start-ups a chance to develop new solutions that solve the world’s oceans challenges.
The launch of this programme follows extensive research by 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.
As a result, UKHO is now looking for applicants for its first innovation challenge: Unlocking Autonomous Navigation – to identify, trial and prove how navigational data can be used to support the safe navigation of Marine Autonomous Surface Ships.
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.
“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“, said Mark Casey, Head of Research, Design and Innovation at the UK Hydrographic Office.
Autonomous ships provide an attractive trend in line with growing smart technology and as shipping is struggling to keep costs down in order to maintain its competitiveness, as well as to minimize human error to improve its safety record.