The Marine Business Technology Centre (MBTC) in Plymouth, Dorset, UK, has launched Smart Sound Plymouth – a proving area for designing, testing and developing cutting edge products and services for the advanced marine sector.
Using the facilities and expertise available within the MBTC, Smart Sound Plymouth is the first of its kind in the UK with a wealth of marine assets to offer businesses.
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.
Together, they boast considerable knowledge and expertise in the areas of advanced marine autonomy, alternative propulsion, environmental monitoring, advanced materials and cyber security.
“The unveiling of Smart Sound Plymouth represents is a significant step in making Plymouth the UK’s premier centre for developing, testing and proving cutting edge marine technologies,” says Councillor Tudor Evans, leader of Plymouth City Council.
“With the MBTC based in our new Oceansgate development – the UK’s first marine enterprise zone – Smart Sound Plymouth will be a unique selling point for the city and is going to be crucial for growing our marine sector.”
Covering more than 1,000km2 of ocean off Plymouth Sound, the proving area’s impressive variety of water depth, sea states and weather conditions are ideally suited for conducting sea trials, including sub-sea tests with access to offshore water depths of 75m.
Through the MBTC, access to Smart Sound Plymouth is free for eligible businesses and comprises a number of physical assets to aid technological development, including:
- 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
- A fleet of support vessels to facilitate trials.
Smart Sound Plymouth is ideally suited for building and supporting the next generation of marine technologies, and will provide access to a professional team.
The MBTC is designed for Devon-based marine businesses to help develop the next generation of technology.
The centre has received £2.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund alongside contributions from all the partners – bringing the total investment to £4.5 million.
For more information about Smart Sound Plymouth, go to: www.smartsoundplymouth.co.uk