Looking for new technologies to improve the operation of unmanned underwater vehicles, the Royal Navy used the Maritime Enterprise Innovation Scotland Conference (MEISC) to set challenges for developers.
During the conference, held at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow on January 24, two specific challenges were set: the provision of low power and high accuracy underwater navigation systems, and underwater vehicle energy management and energy scavenging systems.
The Royal Navy said the developer of any technologies which are taken on would receive funding of between £40,000-£100,000 to take forward their proposals, technical support and will retain intellectual property rights.
Sponsored by Rear Admiral John Weale, Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland and Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Submarines, the MEISC conference aims to create an open forum for navy, industry and academia to collaborate and drive innovation through research.
According to the Royal Navy, 16 PhD research projects have been jointly-funded by Strathclyde and industry partners, since last year’s inaugural conference. This represents an investment in research of more than £1.5 million, with more PhDs and a long-term research program being developed.
The four year PhD projects range from the development of quantum radar to detect low-reflectivity targets, to radio-frequency atomic magnetometry to monitor submarine movements.
More info on the technical and business maturity levels of any proposals can be found here.