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News from the Society of Maritime Industries

11 September 2012

Fourth business survey of UK marine scientific industries highlights continued growth for the Marine Science and Technology sector and shows it is a major contributor to the UK economy

The Society of Maritime Industries has conducted a fourth survey focused on UK companies operating primarily in Marine Science and Technology (MST) activities. The survey was conducted at Oceanology International, a trade show held in London during March 2012, hosting over 500 companies representing the world’s leading ocean technology suppliers and service providers. 

As with earlier studies, this report aims to provide an insight into current business activity in terms of market sectors, market size and business confidence both current and forecast.  There have now been four reports in this series allowing identification of trends in the marine science and technology business.

The estimated market size for the UK based MST business sector is over £1.35 billion, a marked increase on previous years, pointing towards a positive outlook for the future of the MST sector.  Highlights from the report are:

  • Market confidence is high with 81% of companies forecasting growth in the market and 78% of companies expecting increased turnover for 2012/13.
  • Although SMEs continue to dominate the sector (85% of companies), the number of larger companies (>£50m) has increased from 9% to 16%.
  • Employment in commercial MST has increased by 12% this year and more than 50% of companies expect to recruit additional personnel during 2012/13.  Although skill shortages present a barrier to future performance in MST.
  • The largest market sector remains offshore oil/gas although this has declined from 45% to 40% with renewable energy increasing by 3 points to 12%.
  • 77% of companies export some of their products and services with a total market value in excess of £500m.
  • Europe has declined as an export market but there has been an increase in business in the Middle East. Further, Brazil, China and India were all named as individual countries where MST business has grown.

The 2012 Annual Review of the UK Marine Scientific Industries can be found here

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