PRESS RELEASE – for immediate release | 13 April 2016

UKCEB are pleased to announce the five Finalists in the Maritime Innovation Challenge, chosen from a shortlist of nine Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). All Finalists will be presenting their innovative capabilities at the Defence Information ’16 Conference, where the winner will be announced and awarded the £50,000 prize.

The five Maritime Innovation Challenge (MIC) Finalists are, in alphabetical order:

The evaluation took place in front of judges and an invited audience of naval and defence personnel, held at the Royal Navy Command Headquarters, Portsmouth. Each of the nine entrants were given 25 minutes to ‘pitch’ to the judges and to answer their questions. The diversity and quality of solutions and presentations were impressive and, a measure of this, is that the judges found it impossible to down-select to fewer than five Finalists. All these five Finalists will showcase their presentations in a SME Innovations Workshop on 21st April at the Defence Academy, part of the two-day Defence Information ’16 Event.

The Maritime Innovation Challenge was for SMEs that have relatively high-readiness technologies that can aid predictive, near-real time and evidence-based decision making in order to: (a) improve asset performance (availability, capability and readiness), (b) be ‘safe to operate and operate safely’ and (c) reduce through-life costs.

In collaboration with Navy Command, and sponsored by Babcock, the competition is being managed by the UKCeB with support from major trade organisations ADS Group (representing Aerospace & Defence and Security) and techUK (representing suppliers of Information & Communications Technology). ADS, techUK and UKCeB collectively represent 100s of companies, including large numbers of highly innovative SMEs. UKCeB is a membership organisations that provides a trusted forum for MOD and Industry to work together on Secure Information Sharing across Team Defence, both in the supply chain and support network.

Capt Paul Marshall said, “The Royal Navy’s fleets use sophisticated technology and, increasingly, seeks to leverage information technology to exploit data to improve predictive, near-real time and evidence-based decision making. In this Maritime Innovation Challenge, we are keen to discover where and how SMEs can help the Navy make a real difference. This exciting Challenge provides an excellent opportunity to help us to capitalise on different approaches to gathering and exploiting data.”

“Whilst there can only be one winner of the £50,000 prize, I’d like to think that all entrants are ‘winners’ in terms of them having the opportunity to showcase their innovative products and services to an attentive Navy Command and extended defence audience, with the possibility that we take forward great ideas.”