Technology Transfer

The NOC offers a variety of licensing options for its proven technologies and software. These technologies, often developed through funding opportunities, enable our partners to develop new and improved products, processes and services, giving them a competitive advantage in their industry.

Our technology has been developed to capture the data we need from the ocean’s most challenging environments and these could have applications for your business.

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Examples of licensing opportunities:

Lab-on-Chip Technology

We are seeking commercial partners to exploit the NOC’s state-of-the art platform technology incorporating lab-on-chip microfluidic techniques.

The technology is expected to be of interest to companies currently involved in the manufacture and sale of water quality sensors for freshwater, estuarine and ocean applications with customers from the scientific, aquaculture, shipping, industrial water processing and freshwater regulator markets.

The benefits of in situ lab-on-chip microfluidic cell technology arise from having a platform/sensor that can measure a variety of chemistries in situ providing accurate data that can be downloaded in near real time. The technology will enable users to collect data on platforms with minimal payload/power requirement without having to take samples back to the laboratory which is costly and increases risks of sample contamination.

Now mature (TRL 7 or 8), the technology is protected with patents, published widely and is delivering data for NERC (e.g., NERC macronutrient cycles programme through grant NE/J012238/1), EU and industry programmes.

Interested companies should contact

Four Methods Permeability Calculator (FoMPeCa)

The Four Methods Permeability Calculator (FoMPeCa) is a software tool that focuses on processing data files from experimental tests to determine the permeability of porous media. The application is written in MATLAB® and presented through a friendly graphical user interface (GUI).

The GUI is performed by three main panels and four hidden-panels which become visible when selected.

The main panels allow:

  • Loading data files
  • Displaying data
  • Calculating permeability according to selected data

The hidden-panels store:

  • Physical characteristics of the sample
  • Physical characteristics of the fluid
  • Parameters of the experimental system used
  • A unit-selector tool for the parameters and variables.

Available with a non-exclusive license, the tool will be valued by companies supplying software solutions to the oil and gas, geotechnical and material testing markets and/or other research organisations working in these fields.

Hydrostatic Release

This device offers a low-cost, multi-shot, compact, simple and reliable means of releasing ballast weights (<20kg) from free drifting instruments, for example, or releasing actuation devices for a variety of applications at pre-determined depths up to about 300m.

Inter-tidal Waterline Technique

The NOC has licensed its inter-tidal waterline techniques to Marlan Maritime Technologies Limited based in Liverpool. The solution uses NOC’s techniques, radar, video camera and other sensor technologies to derive topographic, bathymetric and hydrodynamic (wave and current) data in shallow coastal waters.

Unlike manual survey techniques, data is collected from fixed remote sensor platforms, enabling regular automated repeat-surveys with a high temporal resolution. Maritime radar allows coverage of large and inaccessible areas using a single sensor platform.


The NOC has licensed rights to manufacture and sell a novel probe guard designed and tested by NOC engineers and scientists with Rockland Scientific International (RSI).

The probe guard is designed to protect RSI’s MicroRider turbulence sensor probes, particularly when deployed on ocean gliders, while minimising flow disturbance around the sensor probes.


The NOC’s Quick-Clamp is currently licensed to Planet Ocean Ltd and it is designed to allow instrumentation – such as fluorometers, turbidity sensors, temperature, conductivity and pressure recorders – to be quickly and easily attached to, and detached, from towed (or moored) steel cables. Instruments can be fitted to the Quick-Clamp in advance and then simply fixed to the cable with a twisting motion. Removal from the cable is similarly rapid. This means that moorings can be wound on and off winches more quickly, saving time and money and with added safety.

The system incorporates a simple but robust locking mechanism operated by one hand using an easily operated, large push-button release. Clamps are supplied to fit a range of instrument sizes up to 100mm diameter, although larger instruments can be considered to special order.

Specifications and sales information are available on the the Planet Ocean website.

Remotely Sensed Object Based Image Analysis (RSOBIA) toolbar for ArcMap 10.x

This object based image analysis toolbar for ArcMap 10.x takes multi-layered raster imagery and segments data into geographic areas with similar statistical properties. Segmentation and classification are key techniques for image analysis and this tool gives quick and easy results: speed depends on image size and computer speed. Imagery derivative processing techniques are provided for ease of use and also include texture analysis techniques such as homogeneity, dissimilarity, contrast and others (Grey Level Co-occurence Matrices “GLCMs”).

Imagery data such as satellite data or aerial photographs needs expert interpretation to digitise the areas and boundaries seen in an image and make a polygonised map of the result (e.g., fields of crops, areas of different types of forest, or in my case areas of similar seafloor type). The digitising of the imagery can be slow, subjective - depending on the interpreter and is non-repeatable.

Using RSOBIA segmentation, the results will provide straight-forward and objective polygons which are statistically calculated.

Four license types are available:

  1. Educational single user license – for establishments that actively teach students (high school, graduate or postgraduate level)
  2. Educational multi-user (up to five users) license – for establishments that actively teach students (high school, graduate or postgraduate level)
  3. Non-educational single user license – for research or commercial use
  4. Non-educational multi-user (up to five users) license – for research or commercial use.