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Global Marine Technology Trends 2030

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Global Marine Technology Trends 2030

Global Marine Technology Trends 2030 is the culmination of a collaborative project between Lloyd’s Register, QinetiQ and the University of Southampton.

The Global Marine Technology Trends 2030 (GMTT 2030) report, released in autumn 2015, examines the transformative impact of eighteen technologies on ship design, on naval power and on the use of ocean space in 2030.

In asking ‘what’s next’ GMTT 2030 is an aid to business, policy makers and society in trying to understand the future for the maritime industries and the oceans.

The GMTT 2030 report indicates that momentum and capability for a significant evolution in ship design and operation is now building.

By 2030 the fastest and most radical impacts are likely to be felt in the development of naval ships and systems where maritime autonomous systems are driving the biggest revolution in maritime security in over a century. Plus understanding the world’s oceans is more essential than ever to secure the future of our planet.

By the year 2030, the experts forecast that twice as many offshore structures will exist including 100 times more wind turbines than at present, and that 50 per cent of the world’s oil will be produced offshore. They also predict that within the next 15 years, 50 per cent of the global population will live in coastal regions.

Leading the ‘Ocean Space’ section of GMT 2030, experts from the University of Southampton's Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI) report that since the start of the Industrial Revolution, there has been a 30 per cent increase in ocean acidity and that 25 per cent of atmospheric CO2 is absorbed by the oceans. In addition, some 16 per cent of global protein intake comes from fish with an increasing amount of the world’s medicines, materials and energy also derived from the oceans.

To mitigate against these effects and to develop opportunities for the future, the report has identified a number of key transformational Ocean Space technologies that will make the biggest impact now and in the future. These include Advanced Materials, Big Data Analytics, Sustainable Energy Generation.



Advanced Materials: Rise in the use of ultra-strong materials for ocean structures using embedded sensors to enable remote sensing and support the ability of materials and structure systems to self-repair when damage occurs.

Big Data Analytics: Extracting and using complex data from activities such as resource extraction, exploration and environmental protection to influence the way humankind perceives and interacts with the oceans.

Sustainable Energy Generation: Offshore energy-generation platforms and algae stations will reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, mitigate pollution and have a minimal carbon footprint, so their impact on the environment will be relatively small.

The combined use of these technologies, say experts from the SMMI, will help the world address the effects of climate change, the higher expected frequency and severity of extreme weather, the further reduction of land-based resources and the increasing coastal populations.

Professor Ajit Shenoi, Director of the SMMI said, “We believe that working together, these technologies can be used to protect the ocean environment from excess exploitation and misuse as we gain a deeper understanding of the impact of human activity on the geology, meteorology and ecology of the ocean space. We can also better protect people living in coastal areas form extreme natural forces such as hurricanes and tsunamis. Given the depletion of land-based resources, people will increasingly look to the ocean for food, materials, energy and medicines. In fact, the potential of the ocean to provide these resources is already being realised. It will become necessary to deploy advanced and sustainable technologies to harvest these valuable ocean resources.”

Global Marine Technology Trends 2030 looks at the future for:

  • Commercial shipping – without which world trade would cease
  • Navies – vital for global and maritime security
  • The health of the oceans – the vital resource that defines the future of the planet

Lloyd's Register was the lead partner on the commercial shipping parts of the report and focused on eight technologies that will transform commercial shipping. As Lloyd's Register Marine Marketing Director, Luis Benito explains, "The marine world in 2030 will be a connected and digital one, bringing closer integration between people, software and hardware in a way that could transform the way we operate. We know technology is changing our world and there is a great deal of overlap between technologies and how they combine will be important."

The report identifies two groups of technology drivers - those that will transform the ship design and build space – leading to advancement in ship building, propulsion and powering and the development of smart ships; and the technologies that drive safety, commercial and operational performance – advanced materials, big data analytics, communications, sensors and robotics. 

The world of course wants to know what the impact of these drivers will be on different ship types. The report presents ‘Technomax’ scenarios for bulk carriers, tankers, containerships and gas carriers. The Technomax scenarios are not concept ships but give an indication of the potential maximum technology uptake relevant to the four ship market sectors.

Tom Boardley, Lloyd's Register’s Marine Director commented: “Shipping is likely to evolve quickly now. That evolution is likely to be uneven but while 2030 is not far away, we think that shipping is likely to have changed significantly.”

Assessing 56 technologies and then focusing on 18 specific areas of technology, GMT 2030 builds on the scenarios work in Global Marine Trends 2030 and Global Marine Fuel Trends 2030 to provide insight into the impact, and critically, the timescales of transformative technology.

Download - Global Marine Technology Trends 2030 >

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