Smart Sound Plymouth aids new technologies

Smart Sound Plymouth Smart Sound Plymouth is suited for conducting sea trials. Picture: Smart Sound Plymouth

The UK’s Marine Business Technology Centre (MBTC) has officially launched Smart Sound Plymouth, a proving area for designing, testing and developing cutting-edge products and services for the advanced marine sector.

Covering over 1,000km2 of ocean off Plymouth Sound, the proving area’s variety of water depth, sea states and weather conditions is suited for conducting sea trials, including sub-sea tests with access to offshore water depths of 75m. Access to Smart Sound Plymouth is free for eligible businesses.

Professor Stephen de Mora, chief executive of Plymouth Marine Laboratory, said: “Benefiting from a local partnership of world class organisations, Smart Sound Plymouth, as the best understood and instrumented coastal marine environment in the United Kingdom, provides an excellent opportunity to develop and trial marine innovation.”

Technology pool

Smart Sound Plymouth includes access to an unmanned surface vessel operated by the University of Plymouth; fully instrumented data buoys that form part of the Western Channel Observatory operated by Plymouth Marine Laboratory; the Continuous Plankton Recorder run by the Marine Biological Association; and a fleet of support vessels to facilitate trials.

The MBTC is a partnership between Plymouth City Council, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the University of Plymouth, the University of Exeter and the Marine Biological Association. It is designed for Devon-based marine businesses to help develop the next generation of technology. The centre has received GB£2.6m from the European Regional Development Fund and has a total investment of GB£4.5m.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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