The autonomous and smart shipping industry in the UK is set to receive a boost with the recently unveiled funding of GBP 1 million (USD 1.3 million).
The funding has been awarded by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Regulators’ Pioneer Fund to the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Department for Transport (DfT), in collaboration with the National Oceanography Centre’s (NOC) Marine Robotics Innovation Centre.
As explained, it will be used to pioneer new ways of regulating the autonomous and smart shipping industries to help them deliver innovative new technologies to the traditional maritime sector.
Specifically, 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 and help the UK grow its presence in the global marketplace.
“Emerging technology will help the UK’s maritime sector evolve to be more efficient, safer and greener. 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,” Shipping Minister Nusrat Ghani said.
“This GBP 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,” Ghani added.
The global autonomous shipping industry is predicted to grow into a USD 136 billion behemoth by 2030, with UK businesses already playing an important role.
“Autonomous shipping will play an increasing role in the future of the maritime industry (…) We have already seen an extraordinary demand for this regulatory work and we are confident that we can drive forward future-ready regulations, to be best placed to respond to the challenges and opportunities this fast-moving industry will bring,” Alan Massey, CEO of the MCA, commented.
Source: worldmaritimenews.com, 9 October 2018