NOC business partner Marlan Maritime Technologies has won the prestigious Merseyside Innovation Award 2017 this week.
Liverpool-based Marlan Maritime Technologies create bespoke solutions for port and coastal vessel traffic management using a combination of radar and video camera remote sensing techniques. They were selected as winners for the Merseyside Innovation Awards based on a new product that combines cutting-edge science developed at NOC with industrial know-how to provide a unique radar-based solution to coastal hydrodynamic and bathymetric monitoring. Using radar images of the sea surface, and data collected by sensors recording weather conditions, tidal elevations and vessel traffic movements in coastal areas, including shipping channels, combine to provide efficient nearshore monitoring, which can be used by shipping businesses, coastal engineers and scientists.
Alex Sinclair, Managing Director at Marlan Maritime, said: “I’m blown away to have won this award. As a new company, the prize fund will be invested in obtaining expert advice from industry leaders as we feel that before we can exploit international markets, we must first use the knowledge that is right here in Liverpool.
“Liverpool’s history is firmly rooted in maritime trade and science, from the first commercial naval radar experiments in 1946, to the groundbreaking work on tides done at the National Oceanography Centre over the last century. We want to continue this tradition and continue to develop great innovations and science.”
The NOC is currently part of a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Marlan Maritime Technologies Ltd to further develop this innovative remote sensing service for the survey of intertidal zones.
The KTP builds on the existing collaborative R&D between Marlan Maritime, the NOC and the University of Liverpool which included a successful European Regional Development Fund collaboration as part of the University’s Centre for Global Eco-Innovation (CGE).
The NOC’s Dr Paul Bell and KTP Associate Dr Cai Bird currently work with Marlan to develop and test software that will ultimately provide improvements to the efficiency of delivering products, services and data to the coastal engineering industry. These services will enable more cost effective monitoring, design and building of coastal protection schemes.
Dr Paul Bell commented “The ability to conduct intertidal beach surveys every couple of weeks using a robust and automated remote sensing system will provide an unprecedented window on the way key areas of coastline respond to storms, recover in calmer weather, and evolve following any coastal engineering works. The current KTP with Marlan is accelerating this cutting-edge development from the realms of a research project to a fully-fledged commercial service.”
Professor Andy Plater, support academic on the KTP from the University of Liverpool, said “The success is down to the close research collaboration between the University of Liverpool, NOC and Marlan. The KTP enables us to further develop CGE research, and is a great example of the commercial and societal impact that can be achieved by connecting world-leading research expertise with the innovative thinking and inspiration of SMEs like Marlan Maritime.”
Marlan Maritime Ltd not only won over the panel of judges, but also won the interactive audience vote on the night. Steve Rotheram Liverpool City Region Mayor added: “I’d like to congratulate Marlan Maritime and all the nominated companies this evening. Merseyside is home to some amazing businesses. We need to be at the heart of innovation to create an eco-system for businesses to thrive. Great ideas reinforce the entrepreneurial spirit in Liverpool.”