UCSD in MA Challenge 2020 Finals – Ocean Clean-Up Developing the UK’s Future Marine Autonomy Technologists

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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 – and then to test those solutions for real in a battle for the top prize and recognition by UK industry’s leading maritime technology firms.

This University technical challenge has been issued by the Maritime Autonomous Systems Group Council of the Society of Maritime Industries to teams of undergraduate students at Universities across the UK. A strong field of entries has responded, each submitting a Video Application in a Dragon’s Den style pitch. After a rigorous selection process, five teams have made it through to compete in the final, on-water competition at Calshot Outdoor Activities Centre over the weekend of the 19-21 June 2020.

University Centre South Devon sits amongst other high profile universities from across the nation.

The finalists for this year’s competition are teams from:

  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Cambridge
  • University Centre South Devon
  • University of Newcastle
  • University of West of England

The new Hi Tech & Digital Centre at South Devon College has had a great impact on the delivery of a range of hi-tech courses including the ones focused on the marine sector. The innovative £17 million Centre provides a visionary facility for further education and training support towards the ever-expanding hi-tech, manufacturing, digital and creative sectors across Torbay, South Devon and wider regions. The Centre aims to inspire the local community by showcasing the latest in world class technology and equipment. The interior layout has been designed to follow cutting edge principles in future proofing an outstanding teaching and learning environment. Great emphasis is being placed on flexibility of space, the importance and need for social and collaborative study areas and layouts of rooms which will mirror workplace processes and practice.

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

“I am delighted to announce the finalists for this year’s MA Challenge Competition. With a strong field of entries from Universities across the UK, the competition for places in the final was tough. We were very impressed by the quality of entries and are now looking forward to an exciting and equally tough competition on the water in June.”

The MAChallenge is supported by the National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton and Steatite Batteries, with sponsorship from the following members of the Society of Maritime Industries:

If you’re interested in studying higher education using class-leading facilities at the Hi Tech & Digital Centre, visit to see the range of courses you could be studying. If you have any questions, get in touch by emailing [email protected] or call 08000 21 31 81.