Sun. Oct 1st, 2023
    UK Maritime Sector Aims to Accelerate Marine Robotics Industry

    The Society of Maritime Industries (SMI), representing maritime engineering and marine science in the UK, is organizing an event to boost the country’s marine robotics sector. Taking place on September 14 during London International Shipping Week, the event aims to bring together small businesses driving the sector with the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.

    Titled “Creating a Leading Edge – Accelerating Autonomy to Unlock UK Opportunity,” the event will showcase the outcomes of workshops held by SMI with SMEs and members in order to establish how designers, builders, and operators of marine robotics can collaborate safely.

    The CEO of SMI, Tom Chant, emphasizes the importance of a clear growth pathway and streamlined regulation for the UK to maintain its position as a key player in marine autonomous systems. Chant acknowledges the issue of red tape but highlights the positive collaboration between the government and the industry to find solutions that keep pace with the rapidly advancing sector.

    Meanwhile, Peter Collinson, a member of SMI and founder of MAS and decarbonization consultancy Dendrityca, views the UK MAS sector as losing momentum due to legislation and risk-averse attitudes in the industry. Collinson believes that slow legislation poses regulatory risks and discourages investment in new MAS technology. He suggests that contractors prefer proven technology, such as remotely operated vehicles (ROV) connected to a manned ship, due to the uncertainties involved in Marine Autonomous Systems.

    Collinson emphasizes the significant benefits of marine robotics, including drastically reduced carbon emissions, fuel consumption, and operational costs. By utilizing MAS equipment, emissions can be cut by up to 99%, with some equipment using only 60 liters of diesel per day, replacing traditional crewed vessels that burn 12-15 tonnes of fuel daily.

    This event aims to address the challenges faced by the marine robotics industry and seek opportunities to accelerate its growth in the UK. It brings together key stakeholders, including government agencies, industry professionals, and small businesses, with the goal of streamlining regulation and fostering innovation in the sector.


    – Society of Maritime Industries (SMI)
    – Maritime & Coastguard Agency

    Note: No URLs provided for sources