News from our Members and Partners

18 October 2019

SMI organises successful Satellites and Maritime Industry Forum

Thirty companies took part in what is hoped to be a series of maritime and space seminars. The Space Catapult hosted the event in Harwell, south of Oxford. 

Sean McCarthy, Head of Market Intelligence at the Space Catapult and host for the day said,

“Since its earliest origins, the satellite industry has played a vital role in the Maritime community. Initially providing ‘Safety of Life at Sea’ services, global communications to vessels and crews as well as ensuring accurate positioning and navigation.  Reliable weather forecasts and route planning are derived from satellite data whilst ‘maritime situational awareness’ is important for most organisations operating in a marine environment.  The future sustainable growth of the maritime industry will continue to depend on satellite services with information being used to manage autonomous vessels, track cargoes and inform decision makers about climate change issues.”

 Space Catapult SMIThe objective of the event was to explore how solutions are being developed currently and provide a look at future offerings.  Phil Johnston of Autonaut set the scene with his opening presentation,

“Marine companies such as ours rely on space technology more than we realise. Demand on data is increasing, cyber security issues are rising  - but we are too often unaware or confused by the space technology and services on offer. This workshop was a great opportunity to express our needs and to hear more about where we could benefit from the space sector.”

A series of presentations from maritime/space solutions then gave an overview of their service and discussed the technology they used.  With thanks to Telespazio, Lacuna Space, Earth-I, OceanMind and S&AO for their presentations.

Tom Chant, Director at the SMI and Secretary of the Marine Science & Technology Council said,

“This was a thoroughly interactive forum with lots of the delegates contributing to the discussions and swapping business cards during the breaks.  The space and maritime sectors are very intertwined but typically don’t seem to interact so I think there is great scope for running further collaborative events in the future.  Watch this “space”!”


About The Society of Maritime Industries (SMI):

SMI is the voice of the UK’s maritime engineering and business sector promoting and supporting companies which design, build, refit and modernise ships, and supply equipment and services for all types of commercial and naval ships, ports and terminals infrastructure, offshore oil & gas, maritime security & safety, marine science and technology, maritime autonomous systems and marine renewable energy.