Registration open and keynotes announced for MATS 2020

Registration is now open for the National Oceanography Centre’s Marine Autonomy and Technology Showcase (MATS) 2020, which will be held as a virtual event for the first time from 10–12 November.

MATS 2020 will still feature a packed three-day programme of exhibits, presentations, panel discussions and networking, offering a unique and valuable opportunity to find out about the latest developments in marine autonomous technology and how this field is set to develop in the years to come. The event also enables organisations to engage with the NOC to explore opportunities around funding, sharing ideas and getting those ideas in front of influential, high-profile users from the marine and maritime sector.

As ever, the event will welcome a broad roster of speakers from across industry, academia, and government organisations. Each day of the showcase will see leading figures from the world of marine autonomy and technology take to the virtual stage to present on innovative and disruptive technologies, as well as highlighting current developments and future priorities and challenges.

Keynote speakers

This year’s keynote speakers are Leslie-Ann McGee, Assistant Director of the Consortium For Marine Robotics at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Neil Tinmouth, Chief Operating Officer at SEA-KIT International Ltd.

As the Assistant Director for the Consortium for Marine Robotics at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Leslie-Ann is responsible for developing strategic vision and leadership, managing external relations and partnerships and retaining primary responsibility for organisational and program management of CMR.

Leslie-Ann is an expert in ocean and coastal issues in both the domestic and international arena and has a diverse background working with and for state, regional, national, business and environmental entities globally. She has successfully partnered with interest groups, industry members, private non-profits and other stakeholders to form cohesive management strategies by communicating regularly with a wide variety of stakeholders with often conflicting perspectives.

SEA-KIT International’s vision is to be a world-class provider of high technology solutions to the maritime and research industries and to open new fields and classes of technology to solve the problems of the future, today. SEA-KIT International is dedicated to working with partners and peers to create a safer and more sustainable offshore working environment.

Neil Tinmouth, Chief Operating Officer, said: “We’re delighted to have been invited to deliver the Industry keynote talk at this year’s Marine Autonomy and Technology Showcase. The Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition provided a fantastic springboard for SEA-KIT and enabled us to showcase our ground-breaking deployment of an autonomous underwater vehicle from an unmanned surface vehicle. We are looking forward to sharing our XPRIZE story, as well as the progress and achievements that have come since, with the MATS audience.”

‘Pioneering work’

Aidan Thorn, the NOC’s Marine Robotics Innovation Centre manager and chair of the MATS organising committee, said: “2020 is proving to be a hugely challenging and unsettling time for people around the world, and obviously it’s having a major impact on the industry events calendar here in the UK. In the light of this we have decided that moving MATS 2020 to a virtual conference format is the responsible and practical thing to do. As far as possible we will try to keep proceedings as ‘normal’ as possible, and the new format will offer opportunities to innovate and try new things.

“MATS 2020 will still be 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 scientific community. The event has always been a celebration of emerging and existing partnerships across the industry, and a genuine catalyst for innovation in the sector, with a consistent theme of collaboration underpinning many of the discussions over the last few years. I am confident that these conversations and partnerships will continue the thrive despite the many challenges that we all face at the moment.”

Tickets are priced at £130 (including VAT) for the three-day online event, with a limited number of student places available costing £80. The full programme and biographies of the speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. Details on how to register are available at