Funding win set to commercialise USV offer

Intent on coupling proven USV designs with robust communications systems
Industry Database

SEA-KIT is joining forces with University of Essex academics to create a secure and intelligent communication system for the control of unmanned surface vessels (USV). The company has won funding as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) by the UK Government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

This funding will help SEA-KIT to commercialise its USV offer by building bespoke vessels for its clients in the offshore energy sector.

SEA-KIT was introduced to the University of Essex by specialist business support agency, Invest ESSEX. The collaboration will seek to commercialise the technology that was developed as part of SEA-KIT’s winning entry to the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition. This global competition recognises advances in ocean technologies for rapid, unmanned and high-resolution ocean exploration and discovery.

Peter Walker, Director of Technology at Sea-Kit International Ltd, said: “The team here at SEA-KIT is intent on coupling our proven USV designs with robust communications systems that function even in the harshest offshore conditions. Everyone working in the offshore energy sector is in pursuit of greater efficiencies. We want to disrupt the current market offering with innovations that enable the control of USVs for over-the-horizon missions and reliable retrieval of sensor data from equipment onboard, whilst also reducing cost and carbon footprint. This partnership with the University of Essex taps into their vast network science and AI knowledge base and we are looking forward to working with the team there.”

The University of Essex will employ a researcher to work full time with SEA-KIT. They will be tasked with leading the project, with support from Essex Academics, to ensure that the technology developed through the KTP achieves strong commercial impact and research benefit.

Neil Tinmouth, SEA-KIT International’s Chief Operating Officer, is scheduled to speak at the USV Conference, part of the Seawork Commercial Marine Conference, new dates to be announced. Neil is responsible for identifying market trends and help develop the company’s strategic road map.

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