Oceansgate opening

Rob Watson, MBTC Director, and Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council, at the official launch of the MBTC Rob Watson, MBTC Director, and Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council, at the official launch of the MBTC

The official launch of the new Marine Business Technology Centre, based at Oceansgate in Plymouth, UK, attracted more than 100 representatives from key marine organisations from across the region.

The launch revealed more information about the centre’s offering, including the development of the Plymouth Smart Sound ‘proving area’, where organisations can ensure new technology works for a specific purpose.

MBTC Director Rob Watson gave an overview of the services to be offered, which have been developed following consultation with marine businesses. The emphasis will be on cutting edge technologies including marine autonomy, alternative propulsion, advanced manufacturing, environmental monitoring and modelling, cyber security and the internet of things.

Central to the offering is the development of Plymouth Smart Sound, a 350 square mile area of water in and around Plymouth Sound where businesses can conduct trials to prove new marine technology.

With support from leading marine businesses, the MBTC will be investing in new equipment and test kit to use in the Smart Sound, building on the existing Western Channel Observatory run by Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

The MBTC is a partnership led by Plymouth City Council with the University of Plymouth, the University of Exeter, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the Marine Biological Association.

The centre has received funding enabling it to run for the next three years, with £2.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund and contributions from all the partners, bringing the total investment to £4.5 million.

The MBTC’s headquarters are located in Phase 1 of Oceansgate in Devonport, putting it at the heart of Plymouth’s marine business community.

By Jake Frith

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