News from the Society of Maritime Industries

03 April 2020

Update on MAChallenge 2020

In light of the Covid-19 restrictions the decision has been made to postpone the MAChallenge until the next calendar year.

The Marine Autonomy Challenge 2020 aims to bring together the country’s future technology innovators to build, share, and distribute knowledge, and collaboratively develop solutions to one the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges – Ocean Plastics. The plan was to test those solutions for real in an on-water competition at Calshot Outdoor Activity Centre in June.

Following a review of the arrangements, Geraint West, Chairman of the organising committee and Global Business Manager at Sonardyne International says:

“As we adapt our working patterns and lifestyles to cope with the Covid-19 crisis, so too must we adapt this year’s Marine Autonomy Challenge. Inevitably, it has been necessary to postpone the on-water competition until next year, but we are determined to keep the challenge alive and instead will ask our future marine autonomy technologists to present their ideas in a Webinar format. The competition will be back next year, bigger and better with an even tougher challenge.”

This year’s challenge has been revised. Teams will be invited instead to present their proposed solutions to the challenge in a Webinar format. A series of Webinars will be held during June during which each team will present their innovative solutions, describing in detail how they would have tackled the challenge.

A £500 prize will be awarded to the team deemed to have presented the best solution. Industry sponsors will also present examples of their related activities in the field.

Based on the maturity of the solutions proposed and sharing of ideas, the challenge for next year will be adapted, to stretch the teams further and bring their solutions to life in an on-water competition at Calshot Outdoor Activities Centre.

This year’s finalists will be offered automatic entry, with additional places up for grabs in Marine Autonomy Challenge 2021.



Maritime Autonomous Systems (MAS) are of increasing importance to a wide range of sectors, including marine science, offshore resource exploitation, maritime transport and defence and maritime security operations.  The UK is a technology leader in this area and the Maritime Autonomous Systems Group (MASG) Council of the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) aims to enhance this reputation and encourage development and take-up of MAS technologies in the UK.  The Maritime Autonomous Systems Group (MASG) Council sets the policy and guides the activities for this market area, utilising the extensive expertise of its council members.



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