The UK Marine Industries Alliance has unveiled a refreshed technology roadmap highlighting global trends and the opportunities for UK marine and maritime businesses.
It was commissioned and funded by Innovate UK with support from the Department for Business, Information and Skills (BIS) and the Knowledge Transfer Network.
Nearly 80 organisations contributed to the report, representing businesses building, repairing or refitting vessels or those supplying marine equipment and services for the commercial, leisure, naval and marine science sectors.
The UK marine industry is estimated to generate £8.1 billion of gross value added, including approximately £3.3 billion of direct revenue. It supports 175,000 workers, including 74,000 directly employed within the industry.
John Murray, chief executive of the Society of Marine Industries, said:
The 2015 Marine Industries Technology Roadmap underpins the common vision and strategy of both industry and government working together to develop export-led growth.
It provides a picture of where the global market is going, the trends and drivers affecting the market as well as highlighting the technologies the industry needs to develop. Knowledge of this will ensure the UK marine industry continues to be globally competitive.
The roadmap identifies 7 main areas of opportunity:
- whole-vessel integration
- design, integration, manufacture and operation of autonomous vessels and systems
- design, manufacture and refit of superyachts, and high-end powerboats and sailing yachts
- extended use of composites and other novel materials
- design and manufacture of specialist vessels for the offshore energy and naval sectors
- through-life operation (including refits and conversions)
- decision support systems
The report recommends investment in 5 areas of technical capability:
- design and manufacturing techniques
- electronics, sensors, communications and control, data management and big data analytics
- energy efficiency and environmental protection
- structures and materials
- autonomous systems