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Improving Observation Capabilities of Biodiversity in UK Waters

Fund Name

Improving Observation Capabilities of Biodiversity in UK Waters

Project Length

Up to 6 months

Project Value




The aim of this competition is to develop key technologies and capabilities or proof of concept systems that can be used for more effective and efficient observation of biodiversity in natural capital assets.

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Fund Details

We are looking for technologies and systems that can operate in depths up to 100m and significantly improve the current ocean monitoring data acquisition and analysis methods and systems. Improvements can be in areas such as, but not limited to:

  • in situ sensors or samplers
  • sensor or sampler carrying platforms
  • accuracy, reliability, endurance and ease of use of coastal and marine monitoring systems
  • data analysis and visualisation systems

Your proposal must clearly:

  • explain which part of the end-to-end marine monitoring system you will be focusing on
  • explain the concept of operation and the marine environment that the targeted or final marine monitoring
  • system will be operating in
  • describe the improvements sought, providing the measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be
  • used to determine the degree of improvement
  • describe what is innovative about your project and explain the technological maturity at the start and end of the project
  • demonstrate an understanding of what the development and testing of a complete marine monitoring system will entail
  • identify other market needs that could be met by your project’s deliverables and objectives
  • demonstrate the project’s output in the appropriate relevant environment, either the sea or laboratory

Specific Themes

Your project must focus on one or more of the following:

  • improvements on the spatiotemporal density, quality or costs of samples or sensing data acquisition
  • provision of calibrated water column assessment sensors capabilities, enhancements, or operational aspects
  • presence, quantity, and quality of ecosystem assets, for example, quantitative eDNA to monitor marine species
  • seabed surveys, including the collection of physical samples, or in situ measurements, as well as further laboratory or ship-based evaluation
  • acoustic surveys, including enhancing existing survey methods, or increasing sensitivity to detect changes
  • measuring levels of carbon storage or sequestration rates in a given marine environment
  • sensor or sampler carrying platforms used for in situ data or sample acquisitions; for example floats, un-
  • crewed vehicles, moorings, tide gauges, gliders and surface drifters
  • post-acquisition samples or data analysis
  • visualisation and interpretive systems
  • ways and means for human pressure monitoring

Your project can include other themes relevant to the scope of this competition but must include at least one from the list of specific themes.


Your project must:

  • have total project costs up to £75,000 for single applicants
  • have total project costs between £75,000 and £200,000 for collaborations
  • start by 1 February 2023
  • end by 31 July 2023
  • last up to 6 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • be or involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

If the lead organisation is an RTO it must collaborate with 2 businesses (one SME and one business of any size).

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

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