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Marlan Maritime Technologies wins Merseyside Innovation Award!

We were absolutely delighted to learn today that Marlan has been chosen as the winner of the prestigious 2017 Merseyside Innovation Award!

Our new Synoptic data service, which autonomously monitors the evolution of coastal intertidal areas and hydrodynamics over long periods of time, was awarded the 1st prize of £10,000 to accelerate its development. Marlan is now engaged on a new phase of PhD projects with the Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory (LCEI) plus a two year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to develop Synoptic. This builds on the existing collaborative R&D between the University of Liverpool, National Oceanography Centre and Marlan Maritime. The University of Liverpool were also happy to hear the news! We’ll be working closely with our academic partners to ensure our technology remains cutting-edge and we continue to lead the market in nearshore survey and monitoring.

Managing Director of Marlan; Alex Sinclair accepts the Merseyside Innovation Award 1st prize

Shallow waters, beaches and sandbanks are traditionally some of the most difficult areas to survey and monitor, yet they play a vital role in protecting our coastlines from flooding and erosion.
Due to increased pressure from rising sea levels, increased storm frequency and continued human development at the coast, many of these vulnerable areas are at risk of degradation and now more than ever, innovative and cost-effective monitoring techniques are required to properly manage our coastal environment, especially in densely populated coastal cities such as Liverpool. The newly developed Marlan radar survey system allows coastal managers, engineers and scientists to observe our dynamic coastline and the processes that drive long and short-term change. This new service provides information that was previously prohibitively expensive to gather enabling better data-based management decisions and informing more effective design and construction of coastal defences.

At Marlan we believe in our products and services, and our new Synoptic system can help to make the difficult jobs of coastal managers, engineers and scientists much easier. Across the globe, vast amount of human assets including densely populated residential areas, industrial zones and infrastructure are at risk from coastal flooding and damage by erosion and during storms. There is currently a lack of long term monitoring of the changes that occur in the dynamic coastal environments that protect these vulnerable areas.

This lack of monitoring can lead to dramatically inappropriate responses to issues in the coastal zone. A great (albeit dated) example was when Xerxes the Great of Persia invaded ancient Greece he ordered a great bridge constructed across the Hellespont between Asia and Europe. A terrible storm descended and destroyed the bridge. In response Xerxes ordered the sea whipped, branded with hot irons and chains thrown at it in punishment, he then beheaded all of the engineers responsible for constructing the bridge.  Lack of monitoring and prediction exacerbates natural disasters, and a lack of understanding of environmental phenomena leads to completely inappropriate responses to these events and this holds true now as it did in ancient times, albeit with less dramatic consequences for engineering failures.

We have had the honour of working with some truly excellent people during the development of our product and these brilliant scientists, engineers and managers who have spent their entire careers trying to better understand the complexity of coastal systems. They inspire us to provide a service that gives them the greatest amount of information and allows them to make the best, data-driven decisions while managing and protecting our precious and vulnerable coast.

This service offers a unique method of continuously monitoring our coastlines cost-effectively providing a density of information that was incredibly expensive to obtain using traditional technologies. We hope that a network of these systems will provide unprecedented information on changing coastal morphology that will greatly improve coastal science and management. This will ultimately benefit society through better flood modelling and prediction, better management of coastal defences and a better understanding of a very complex and dynamic system.

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