The University of Plymouth and marine technology company Sonardyne have agreed a strategic partnership to drive innovation within the UK’s growing marine robotic and autonomous systems sector.
The partnership will advance ocean data gathering technologies and platforms by leveraging the University’s academic resources and research facilities, Sonardyne’s leading acoustic and inertial navigation technologies, and the marine proving area Smart Sound Plymouth.
Under the new agreement, the partners will work together to evaluate and develop emerging technologies on the university’s fleet of crewed and uncrewed surface and underwater platforms, all underpinned by a suite of Sonardyne’s technologies.
This will include testing and evaluation onboard uncrewed systems loaned to the University by the Royal Navy, to support its research and development around maritime autonomous systems capabilities.
The partnership will help establish closer working relationships between the University and Sonardyne, including enabling undergraduate and postgraduate students to participate in the testing of cutting-edge equipment, as well as highlighting future career opportunities.
The initial three-year collaboration will also explore funding opportunities for joint research in areas of mutual interest, including ocean exploration, hydrography, ropeless fishing, offshore renewable energy and defence.
In addition, it will further the University’s global reputation for marine research and teaching, with Plymouth ranked 1st globally linked to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal number 14: life below water in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2021.
While Sonardyne has worked closely with the University on a range of projects over many years, this new agreement aims to bring a more coordinated and targeted approach to fields of mutual interest.