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UK Hydrographic Office launches innovation programme

The programme aims to help startups and innovators use marine geospatial data to develop products and systems to “support safe, secure and thriving oceans”

The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has launched an innovation programme where startups and innovators can come up with solutions to improve ocean related activities.

The UKHO estimates that and the Blue Economy, which encompasses all ocean related activities, will be worth £3.2tn by 2030, with marine geospatial data playing an “essential role in supporting this growth” as it identifies new areas for tidal and wind energy and supports safe navigation, as well as playing a key role in mitigating the effects of climate change.

The Admiralty Marine Innovation Programme will allow innovators access to Admiralty datasets on seabed composition samples, bathymetric profiles of the seafloor, navigational information and tidal information to create their solutions.

Commenting on the launch, Mark Casey, head of research, design and innovation at the UKHO said the 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,” he said.

“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.”

The programme is setting a series of challenges, including transforming maritime risk and insurance, where it’s looking for participants to discover and test how marine geospatial data can be used to enhance insurance products, with winners receiving £75,000 worth of prizes.

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The data sets can provide insight into risk and asset management “not yet available over a large geographic area and historic period,” the UKHO said.

The participants will have to trial and prove how more accurate risk models can lead to better underwriting decisions and improved insurance products.

It previously launched an autonomous navigation challenge to discover how navigational data can be used to support marine autonomous surface ships.

The companies taking part of the programme will be able to develop their solutions together with a range of UKHO experts in research and design.

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