The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) and Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) has announced Marico Marine as the winner of the third ADMIRALTY Marine Innovation Programme challenge.
Led by the UKHO’s Research, Design and Innovation team, the programme has given innovators and start-ups the chance to develop solutions that solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges when it comes to our oceans. For the programme’s third innovation challenge, which was run in partnership with Cefas, participants were asked to demonstrate how marine geospatial data could help identify new areas for offshore renewable energy infrastructure.
In response to this challenge, Marico Marine developed a geospatial constraints mapping toolkit that helps developers and regulators to understand the impact shipping could have on projects from an early stage in the planning process. By combining ADMIRALTY data with advanced GIS analysis and professional mariner expertise, the toolkit will allow the identification of potential hotspots within proposed project boundaries.
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.
Commenting on the solution, Marico Marine’s UK Director, André Cocuccio, 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.
“With this partnership, the opportunity for Marico to develop an alpha product supported by the 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 look forward to the months ahead and developing a powerful product with the UKHO that we hope will have a real impact on the industry.”
Commenting on Marico Marine’s winning entry, Mark Casey Head of the UK Hydrographic Office’s Research, Design and Innovation team, 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.
“Marico Marine’s solution will help to grow this sector by giving developers access to marine geospatial data that helps to identify the best locations for new offshore energy infrastructure.
“We look forward to working with Marico Marine over the coming months and will continue to collaborate with partners on further projects that help to build safer, more secure and thriving oceans.”