Understanding the marine environment | Research Festival 2020
  • Rolle 605, University of Plymouth, PL4 8AA

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The World Economic Forum estimate that the ocean economy already creates over $4 trillion of value and highlight the need to preserve natural assets, and increase ocean productivity sustainably.

Similarly, the OECD predict that the ocean economy will double in size by 2030 and triple in size by 2050, as land-based resources alone cannot sustain a population of 9–10 billion and the ocean becomes a greater resource for food, energy and even mineral wealth.

Growth in the ocean economy can only be achieved where a healthy and productive ocean can be maintained. This, predicated by the need to understand fundamental processes, informed by new technological methods for data collection. Whether for site selection, infrastructure inspection, determining operational and maintenance windows, or understanding an operation’s wider interaction with the marine environment, companies operating in the Ocean Economy need cost-effective access to data.

The University of Plymouth, and the wider research community of Plymouth, drive innovation to bring about a new understanding of the marine environment. Whether oil and gas, offshore renewables, aquaculture or defence, Plymouth is at the forefront of research using marine autonomy, new sensor technology, and remote sensing from satellites to cost-effectively capture and interpret data, to inform and optimise offshore operations.

This event brings together academics and industry for a dialogue on the challenges facing the ocean economy, and the collaborative opportunities available to overcome them. Our researchers, and partners in the city, will share how Plymouth takes a whole-systems approach towards a sustainable ocean economy, from deep sea conservation to coastal defences to public perceptions.

It will also present the opportunity to participate in shaping the research strategy for the UK’s first National Marine Park in Plymouth Sound.


Morning programme

09:00 | Arrival and networking

09:30 | Quick-fire talks followed by panel discussions, which will be split into two themed groups with a break in between. More details to follow.

12.30 | Lunch


Afternoon programme

13:30 | Daniel McGonigle, Head of Systems Research at DEFRA

14:00 | Summary session with Professor Richard Thompson and Kevin Forshaw

14:30 | Breakouts

  • National Marine Park research strategy workshop (this will be a closed meeting)
  • University facility tour of the Coastal, Ocean and Sediment Transport (COAST) Laboratory
  • Funding for business support drop-in sessions with Kevin Forshaw, Director of Industrial and Strategic Partnerships

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Marine Institute 

The University’s Marine Institute is the first and largest such institute in the UK. 

We provide the external portal to our extensive pool of world-leading experts and state-of-the-art facilities, enabling us to understand the relationship between the way we live, the seas that surround us and the development of sustainable policy solutions. 

We are integrating our multidisciplinary expertise in marine and maritime research, education and innovation to train new scientists, engineers, policy-makers, artists, technicians and business managers of the future. 

Find out more about the institute and our research, education and facilities

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