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Oceanology International 2024: Scalability, Capability and Cost-Effectiveness

Oceanology International 2024 attracted a range of leading professionals from various sectors including marine science, offshore energy, security, shipping, and government agencies to showcase the latest innovations, technologies, and solutions for sustainably managing the Ocean. Among them were multiple members of the ACUA Ocean team to capitalise on the theme of ‘Connecting The Global Ocean Technology Community’.

Across the presentations, panels and workshops, ACUA Ocean saw four key themes running through the conference:

1. Accelerating growth in the adoption of dual-use technology and platforms.

2. The increase in geographical complexity of offshore operating environments is necessitating the need for scalable technology with open ocean capabilities.

3. Net zero goals are placing cost burdens on operators, meaning new sustainable solutions need to offer not only lower GHG emissions but increased capabilities while reducing the cost of consenting, monitoring and security.

4. High quality data is needed at scale to accelerate commercial confidence and cost-effectiveness of new technology.

This convergence of operational capabilities and cost-effectiveness has become  the focus of attention of organisations across offshore infrastructure, marine conservation and security sectors.

The evolving landscape, or rather “seascape”, of critical offshore infrastructure such as Offshore Wind Energy, pipelines, data cables etc  is pushing assets to new sites further offshore and are expanding in scale. Naturally, this drives up cost, and so another prevailing theme echoed throughout Oceanology was the urgent need for cost reduction in offshore planning, consenting and management processes. These shifts necessitate the development of new solutions and technologies tailored to meet the demands of this dynamic environment.

Autonomous systems, capable of operating in demanding conditions, emerge as a critical solution to this challenge. By leveraging robotics and autonomy on dual-use platforms, stakeholders aim to streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and drive down costs in use cases such as Offshore Wind Energy (OWE) development; helping countries to meet their net zero and commercial bottom-line demands.

What was also clear from Oceanology is that the market for autonomous systems is fast becoming saturated with smaller, low capability and low value assets. ACUAs discussions revolved around sourcing payloads and sensors to fulfil the H-USVs enhanced capabilities, catering to diverse market demands and requirements for space, weight, persistence and power.

Delivering those end user requirements at scale, and via a cost-effective platform will be key to the wider offshore sectors success over the next 5 years.


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