Call for abstracts opens for the Marine Autonomy and Technology Showcase 2021

Marine Autonomy and Technology Showcase promotional image

MATS is a great showcase for the pioneering work that the NOC and its partners are delivering in the field of marine robotics, for the benefit of UK industry and the wider science community.

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is calling for abstract submissions for this year’s Marine Autonomy and Technology Showcase (MATS 2021) which is scheduled to take place from 9–11 November.

Last year’s event was the first to be held completely online as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Despite the different format it was well received by attendees and the number of delegates was on par with previous years. The format for 2021 is still to be decided. The MATS Organising Committee hopes to deliver a physical, in-person event if the situation allows and restrictions are lifted, and will keep this under review. The Committee has listened carefully to the feedback from last year and as a result any physical event will also include an online element to open it up to an even wider audience.

MATS has grown over the last six years to become a key event in the marine technology calendar, attracting delegates from around the world. In 2020 we welcomed over 250 guests and more than 30 exhibitors for three days of insightful presentations and networking opportunities. This year’s showcase will primarily focus on new developments and innovations, and will also look forward to where marine autonomous technology and ocean exploration is heading in the next five years.

The overarching themes of MATS 2021 are to explore the information needs of users of Marine Autonomous Systems (MAS), review the current technologies available to enable cutting-edge data gathering for MAS users, and explore the methods of transforming raw data into exploitable information for the end user.

‘Pioneering development’

The NOC has been pioneering the development of MAS for more than 20 years, developing innovative platforms that have collected scientific data from the most challenging and hostile environments on the planet, transforming our understanding of the global ocean. Building upon this expertise, MATS 2021 will once again feature a packed programme of expert speakers, technical presentations, panel discussions, exhibitions and networking, offering a unique insight into current projects and the latest technology, with first-hand accounts of research and development from across the growing marine autonomy sector.

Aidan Thorn, Manager of the NOC’s Marine Robotics Innovation Centre and Chair of the MATS Organising Committee, said: “MATS is a great showcase for the pioneering work that the NOC and its partners are delivering in the field of marine robotics, for the benefit of UK industry and the wider science community. But more than this, the event is also a celebration of emerging and existing partnerships, and a genuine catalyst for innovation in the sector, with a consistent theme of collaboration underpinning many of the discussions.

“Marine robots now routinely operate from pole to equator and from sea surface to deep ocean, supporting an increasing range of research, policy and industry applications. MATS has become a key event in the annual calendar, providing the ideal forum for operators to exchange ideas and forge partnerships, for potential adopters to understand current capabilities, and for existing users to understand the future development pipeline.

“Despite the significant challenges of 2020, we received a record number of high-quality abstracts and we hope to see a similar response in 2021. We’d encourage the marine robotics community to get involved and contribute to shaping the discussion around these transformative technologies.”

Full details of this year’s themes and how to submit an abstract are available on our Conference pages.

The deadline for abstract submissions is 14 July 2021.

For further information, or to find out about exhibiting opportunities, email

Event dates: 
Tuesday 9 November 2021 - 09:00 to Thursday 11 November 2021 - 17:00