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UKHO launches new innovation challenge to reduce the impact of coastal inundation

Press Release: The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has launched a new marine innovation challenge, focused on identifying the causes and risks of coastal inundation and mitigating its effects.

As part of the ADMIRALTY Marine Innovation Programme, the latest challenge invites participants to develop solutions that provide disaster relief agencies with a clear view of coastal inundation situations, and support other groups to identify vulnerable areas and put in place mitigation measures before an inundation event occurs. 

Caused by storm and tidal surges, coastal inundation poses a significant risk for seaside communities around the world. These events can completely submerge surrounding areas in sea water, causing substantial damage to infrastructure. With sea levels continuing to rise, what is already an existing problem for many low-lying coastal states has the potential to present serious risks to many more regions and communities in the coming years, with expected annual losses of 0.3–9.3% of global GDP.

Participants will have access to world-leading geospatial and scientific ADMIRALTY data throughout the challenge – including Anguilla data sets – and will also get the chance to work with leading experts and receive support from UKHO staff as they develop a prototype product. 

The winning team will receive hands-on support and marine geospatial information, in addition to a cash prize of $10,000 Singapore dollars to develop an alpha product that could help to protect the lives and livelihoods of millions of people around the world.

Mark Casey, Head of Research, Design and Innovation at the UKHO, said: “Coastal inundation is a tangible and imminent threat that affects coastal states and communities around the globe. It poses a massive challenge to their economic activity and blue economic development. The creation of solutions that enable these risks to be mapped and mitigated are therefore crucial, particularly given the context of sea level rise. 

“This ADMIRALTY Marine Innovation Programme challenge is dedicated to harnessing the power of marine geospatial data and identifying how it can work as a key source of information to help develop a better understanding of the marine environment. Alongside our other successful challenges, coastal inundation is a worthy effort to pursue new leading solutions for, and we look forward to working with all prospective teams and partners on their innovations.”

To participate in this challenge, applications must be submitted by Friday, 2 April 2021. You can find out more about the challenge and access the application form here: https://www.admiralty.co.uk/innovation-programme/coastal-inundation-challenge 

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