If you need to transfer and embed new thinking into your business, you might be eligible for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) grant from Innovate UK.
These partnerships help you tackle a strategically important project by placing a graduate into your company, who is supported by a NOC scientific expert for half a day per week. Projects are also supported by budgets for training, travel and consumables.
Technology partnership provides vital new information to coastal engineers
The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) entered into a two year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Marlan Maritime Technologies Ltd to develop an innovative remote sensing service for the survey of intertidal zones.
The partnership built on the existing collaborative R&D development between Marlan, the NOC and the University of Liverpool which included a successful ERDF-funded collaboration as part of the University’s Centre for Global Eco-Innovation (CGE). The new project saw the NOC’s Dr Paul Bell and KTP Associate Dr Cai Bird work with Marlan to develop and test software that provides improvements to the efficiency of delivering products, services and data to the coastal engineering industry. This enables more cost effective monitoring, design and building of coastal protection schemes.
The system uses a standard ship’s radar to visualise the location of the ‘waterline’ between wet and dry regions. It then uses the rise and fall of the tide and consequent movement of the waterline to build up a three-dimensional map of the coastline covered by the tidal ebb and flow – the intertidal areas. This is an idea dating as far back as WWI using aerial photos, modernised using radars and newly developed robust software algorithms. This allows new maps of the intertidal beach areas to be produced automatically every couple of weeks, and the evolution of those maps shows how the coastline evolves over time. Beach surveys are difficult and expensive to produce, so are rarely performed routinely, and never at the rate this system can achieve. These evolving maps show how and when beaches change; providing the information needed for the management of key stretches of coastline or erosion hotspots.
The service is beneficial to the UK’s 50 coastal councils, as well as operators of ports, coastal power stations, desalination plants, transport infrastructure, sewage treatment works coastal engineering consultancies, research groups and military sites.
The project was funded through Innovate UK following a successful joint bid application from the NOC and Marlan.