Subsea Expo

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Tour of the South West Marine & Maritime Innovation Landscape (Webinar)

Tour of the South West Marine & Maritime Innovation Landscape (Webinar)

27 April 2021
Venue: Webinar (15:00 - 16:30 BST)

This event has concluded. Presentations are available below. 

Hosted by Subsea UK and chaired by Neil Douglas, Director, Viper Innovations, this was a tour of the South West marine and maritime 'innovation landscape', with speakers from Maritime UK South West, Western Channel Observatory, Smart Sound Plymouth, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the University of Plymouth.


Sheldon Ryan, Maritime UK South West Coordinator
Maritime UK South West

Sheldon has managed the Maritime UK South West cluster since its inception in 2016, an ocean economy cluster which brings together the private, public, and research sectors to provide greater voice and promotion to focus areas of the ocean economy most likely to create growth for the SW economy. Prior to this Sheldon worked at Plymouth City Council as Business Relationship and Innovation Manager, working to develop the Marine Business Technology Centre and the Oceansgate Enterprise Zone in Devonport, in addition to this he led the Building Plymouth careers and skills project and the Connected Plymouth digital network. Sheldon was also part of the South West Regional Development Agency innovation team, where he worked on developing and funding collaborative innovation projects in additive layer manufacturing, measurement science and marine and environmental technologies working across research and business partners. The first 10 years of his career was in the private sector, with the Institute of Physics and in the motorsport sector working for Exeter firm Goodridge. Sheldon holds a degree in Psychology and Business Administration, speaks average Spanish and has a small family in South Devon. He loves spending time outdoors or even better in the sea.

Dr James Fishwick, Head of Smart Sound Plymouth, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Western Channel Observatory

Dr James Fishwick is a highly regarded UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Senior Technologist/Scientist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) where he is Head of Technology and Operations for the Western Channel Observatory (WCO). James also leads on driving technology to impact across the organization.

James heads up Smart Sound Plymouth, an academic and commercial consortium facilitating a 350 square mile, fully instrumented proving ground for innovative marine technologies; within the Marine Business Technology Centre, Plymouth of which PML is a delivery partner. He chairs both the Maritime UK SW Autonomy Group and the Future Autonomous at Sea Technologies (FAST Southwest) cluster, a group of industry leading companies and organisations working towards the delivery of autonomous at sea solutions.

James is a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) and has gained chartered status as both a Marine Technologist and Scientist.

James started his career at PML as a Bio-Optical Oceanographer and participated in numerous field campaigns contributing to the calibration and validation of both NASA and ESA satellites. Whilst at PML he successfully completed a PhD at the University of Plymouth; investigating the biological and photo-physiological interactions between phytoplankton functional types. Prior to joining PML in August 2000 he studied Marine Biology and Oceanography at the University of Wales, Bangor.

Smart Sound Plymouth is the UKs platform for validation and demonstration of advanced marine technologies, which benefits from strong cluster engagement.

Advanced above and below water robots, sophisticated moored scientific platforms, state-of-the-art communication systems, ecosystem modelling solutions and remote sensing combine to deliver a fully integrated observing network. Smart Sound Plymouth is the UKs platform for advanced autonomy and marine technology development, validation and demonstration.  Working across industry, academia, local government and regulators to develop autonomous platforms and sensing solutions of the future with strict codes of conduct to demonstrate the responsible and safe integration and operation of a diverse set of unmanned solutions.  Smart Sound is strategically supported through the Maritime UK SW Autonomy Group and has strong engagement through the Future Autonomous at Sea Technologies (FAST-SW) Cluster.  FAST SW is a triple helix cluster with a strong industry focus enhanced by academia and local government.

Kevin Forshaw, Director of Industrial and Strategic Partnerships
University of Plymouth

Creating high-value Strategic Partnerships with both private and public sector organisations and translating the University's research outputs for positive socio-economic impact, Kevin is also co-chair of the South Coast Marine Cluster - comprising South Coast Universities, Research Organisations, Local Authorities and LEPs to raise importance of the sector, and increase engagement with high-growth marine business.

Steve Rice, Marine-i Project Manager, School of Engineering and Mathematics
University of Plymouth

Steve designs, manages and delivers collaboration programmes between industry and academia, to drive commercial innovation and research impact.

For nine years Steve has specialised within the marine technology industries; delivering five high profile regional R&D programmes. 

Currently, Steve is focused on driving the development of autonomous marine systems across a broad range of disciplines through: Smart Sound Plymouth, the Future Autonomous at Sea Technologies (FAST Southwest) cluster and in delivery of the Marine Business Technology Centre.


Kevin Forshaw - view pdf
Dr James Fishwick - view pdf
Steve Rice - view pdf
Sheldon Ryan - view pdf


Click to view the video.