Innovation in Monitoring UK Marine Assets Networking & Collaboration Event

Join Innovate UK and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on 17 July for a collaboration session where you will learn more about the upcoming Marine Natural Capital Ecosystem Assessment Phase 2 Competition, hear success stories from Phase 1, and network with potential collaborators.

Event Details


10.00 - 12.00



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Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is working with Defra to invest up to £1.5 million across 3 years in grant funding for innovation that can improve capabilities in monitoring UK marine natural assets. This can include innovations across all areas of the data lifecycle, from data collection, processing, analysis, and visualisation to help inform our understanding of marine natural capital.

Last year, in Phase 1 of the competition, we funded 11 projects developing emerging technologies with potential to improve the way we monitor and assess our marine natural capital assets.

For Phase 2 of the competition, we will be providing grant funding for technologies that are ready to test in real-world conditions as part of end-to-end monitoring systems. This means the technology needs to be tested as part of the process from data collection, through data processing and analysis, to visualisation of the data to provide insights on our marine assets. We are particularly interested in innovation that can inform on asset extent and condition, as well as the impacts of human pressures on these assets.

Click here to read more about the available funding (closing date 6 Sept 2023).

This event is going to be the perfect opportunity to be the first to learn more about the Phase 2 competition opening 24 July, and learn more about the success stories from Phase 1 directly from the innovators.

This online event also gave attendees the opportunity to pitch their project (interested parties were able to book a 2-minute pitch slot during the registration process), and participate in virtual networking in order to form collaborations for Phase 2 of the competition. If you were not able to attend the event and would like help in finding a collaborator, please contact Jonathan Walker.


  • Introduction and competition Overview
  • Phase 1 Success stories
  • Pitching Session
  • Facilitated networking breakout rooms

Who is this event for?

The event is relevant for innovators from sectors like robotics, sensors, marine/maritime, oil and gas, offshore renewable energy, water supply and sewage treatment.

For additional information on the applicable themes, please read below.

Background information for Phase 2 of the competition

  • The aim of this competition is to test innovative technologies and approaches as part of end-to-end marine monitoring systems (from in-situ data collection through to generating insights from the data). The innovation should focus on measures of marine asset extent, condition, and human pressures. The outputs of the work should demonstrate how the data collected can be used to generate insights into ecosystem services flows from marine assets, or how these flows could be impacted by human pressures.

    Innovations should be close to commercial readiness or used in other sectors with application to marine monitoring. The innovation can target any part of the end-to-end monitoring system, from data collection to data processing, analysis or visualisation, but must be tested as part of a complete system.

    Defra are looking for ways to significantly improve approaches to measure changes in the extent or condition of marine natural capital assets and provision of ecosystem services by these assets, such as by providing:

    • Greater spatial or temporal coverage of data collection.
    • Ways to reduce the carbon emissions of data collection, storage, or analysis.
    • Improved efficiency, value for money or quality of data collection, processing, analysis, or visualisation.
  • Your proposal should focus on one or more of the following themes:

    • Integration of innovative approaches across an end-to-end system (e.g., innovation in in-situ observations combined with innovations in data processing, analysis, or visualisation, to achieve efficiency gains across the whole system).
    • Integrated monitoring of marine assets. For example, a monitoring system set up to understand interconnections between two or more assets (marine habitats and/or species). This can also include linkages between assets that span different ecosystems, such as estuaries, coast and offshore environments, or land and sea.
    • Innovation in approaches to monitor human pressures and their impacts on marine assets and the ecosystem services they provide.
  • The project

    • The total budget available for Phase 2 of the competition is £750,000, with funding of up to £250,000 available for each project.
    • Must be carried out between January and September 2024.
    • Project duration: 9 months.
    • Must carry out all work in the UK.
    • Must intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.
    • Must have an appropriate test site prepared. The test site must match the real-world marine conditions that the innovation is being designed for. Arranging a suitable test site is the responsibility of the applicant and should be factored into project costs.
    • Must have appropriate operational permits/permissions to carry out the planned testing at sea.
    • Organisations that are applying technology used in a different sector to marine monitoring must have relevant marine science expertise on the project team, or involved in an advisory capacity, to advise on monitoring the intended marine assets.

    Further information will be provided during the event and the upcoming briefing session.

Related Opportunities

Improving Observation Capabilities of Biodiversity in UK Waters: Phase 2

Opens: 24/07/2023 Closes: 06/09/2023

UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £750k for innovation projects to improve monitoring of UK marine assets.

More Information

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