E1 Buoy

Pioneering technology development

Smart Sound Plymouth is a first-of-its-kind within the UK, facilitating the design, testing and development of new products and services for the marine sector.

The MBTC specialist areas include:

  • advanced marine autonomy
  • alternative propulsion
  • advanced materials/manufacturing
  • environmental monitoring/modelling and cyber security
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • big data. 
Led by Plymouth City Council, the MBTC has world-class research partners in the University of Exeter, University of Plymouth, Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) and the Marine Biological Association (MBA). The MBTC is located in the UK’s only Marine-dedicated Enterprise Zone, Oceansgate in Devonport. 

View the MBTC website
Oceansgate building in Plymouth

Research & Development partners

Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Well known as one of the world’s foremost marine science organizations, Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) provides pioneering, solution-driven scientific evidence and advice.
From marine science expertise through to satellite Earth observation and marine ecosystem and coastal hydrodynamic modelling, PML is a partner of choice for providing detailed data and understanding of the marine environment, technology testing environments as well as advise on technology and material performance when operating in various marine environments.
PML leads one of the most comprehensive and longest shelf sea observatories in the world, the Western Channel Observatory, and is experienced in working with industry, from SMEs to large multinationals. 

View the PML website


University of Plymouth

With its history rooted in the marine sector, the University first opened as a school of navigation in 1862, and is now home to the University’s Marine Institute, the first and largest such institute in the UK.

Over the next 20 years, offshore industries will be transformed by new technological innovations that will allow society to sustainably manage and exploit our oceans for resources in ways previously unimaginable. Bringing these new technologies to market will demand new ways of thinking, and the University will enable new levels of collaboration that brings together different scientific and technical disciplines. The university’s team of experts in autonomy, electrical and mechanical engineering, ocean science and technology support marine businesses with research, testing and evaluation.

View the University website

Marine Biological Association (MBA)

The Marine Biological Association (MBA) is one of the world’s longest-running learned societies dedicated to conducting, promoting and supporting scientific research into our oceans and the life they support. Since 1884 the MBA has provided a unified, clear and independent voice on behalf of the marine biological community, with a growing membership in over 40 countries. The MBA hosts a world leading marine biological research laboratory and the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey enabling scientists to conduct fundamental research at the cutting edge of Marine Biology and global Plankton Ecology. The MBA has extensive experience providing partners with R&D support and making its controlled laboratory and at-sea testing facilities available for trialling emerging sensor and observation technologies.

View the MBA website  

University of Exeter

The University of Exeter is a globally recognised centre of research excellence, with expertise, facilities and people who can make a real difference. Exeter is one of the UK's top universities and can connect researchers and businesses to its partnership development teams for easy access to collaborative research and development, skilled people, and innovation.

View the University website