UK invests £1m in autonomous shipping R&D

The UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Department for Transport (DfT), in collaboration with the National Oceanography Centre’s (NOC) Marine Robotics Innovation Centre, have announced that they have successfully secured £1 million in funding to support development of autonomous shipping in the country.

The funding, awarded by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Regulators’ Pioneer Fund, will be used to examine novel ways of regulating the autonomous and smart shipping industries to help them deliver new technologies to the traditional maritime sector.

The funding will see the creation of the Maritime Autonomy Regulation Lab, where regulators from the MCA and DfT can work with academia and support industry to promote on-water testing and flagship projects.

“Emerging technology will help the UK’s maritime sector evolve to be more efficient, safer and greener,” said UK Shipping Minister Nusrat Ghani.

“Technology and innovation is a key part of Maritime 2050, which will set a vision for how our maritime sector will grow and ensure we are ready to maximise its potential.”

“This £1 million funding will support us to work alongside industry and researchers to ensure our approach to the regulation of autonomous shipping is informed and aligned with developments in technology.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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