Royal Navy partners with UK firms to create marine robotics training centre

The Royal Navy, SeaBot XR, and the UK’s National Oceanography Centre (NOC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to create the National Centre for Operational Excellence in Marine Robotics based in Southampton, UK.

The MoU brings together the expertise of the three key players in MASS (Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships) operations and autonomous sub-surface operational training.

Together they aim to create a new training entity that will interpret and deliver new standards of training using the facilities at the NOC and other satellite facilities.

The requirements for marine robotics training are very different to those which exist in the maritime training sector today, and the training facilities required do not currently exist within Europe or the UK. With a view to addressing this gap, a competence-based curriculum is being created specifically for autonomous and remote vessel surface and sub-surface operations based on SeaBot XR’s skill’s management approach to ensure a workforce has the necessary proficiencies to operate vessels.

The MoU will also result in a combined training and testing site where companies can try out their own autonomous and remote-controlled vessels as well as tap into in-person training designed for military and civil marine operations.

Customers will have access to a remote operations centre and various surface and sub-surface vessels to experiment with different weather and tidal conditions, vessel features and operational practicalities.

“This initiative is testament to the Solent MEZ’s enterprise approach,” says Commodore Andrew Cree, deputy director future training of the Royal Navy. “It connects ideas, people and organisations, it generates collaborations around a shared vision and then delivers.

“This new centre of excellence is a case in point and marks a pivotal change in maritime as the RN constantly seeks ways to optimise technology to support RN operations and to prepare our people with the skills required to operate new technologies, surface and sub-surface autonomous vessels being a priority. Addressing the future skills requirements in this field is a game-changer and is essential for success.”

Gordon Meadow, founder and CEO of SeaBot XR comments: “We are delighted to be working with the Royal Navy and NOC to provide a future-proofed approach to maritime training. Current training available for seafarers of crewed vessels has served the industry well for decades, but many of the training methods and much of the curriculum cannot be applied to autonomous and remote vessel operations.

“Digitalisation is the next frontier in shipping and so requires a fresh approach to workforce training. It is vital that training is developed alongside the technology so that it serves humans to their advantage.”

The centre of excellence will be based at the NOC’s two UK testing facilities in Southampton, England, and Loch Ness, Scotland, and will be officially launched at the MATS (Marine Autonomy and Technology Showcase) exhibition, Southampton, in November 2021.

Spotlight Job

OEM business development manager UK

Southampton (hybrid)

Vetus is seeking a dynamic and highly motivated OEM business development manager to join its team in the UK. In this pivotal role, you will be responsible for preparing and implementing a comprehensive account plan, aimed at achieving ambitious sales and marketing objectives.

Full job description »

Comments are closed.

This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

Skip to content