University of Southampton and Lloyd’s Register: A four decade partnership in service of today and tomorrow’s maritime challenges

University of Southampton and Lloyd’s Register: A four decade partnership in service of today and tomorrow’s maritime challenges

The new Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI), the largest university-business partnership in the UK, has been the result of trust and understanding built over a 40 year collaboration

This case study originally appeared in the State of the Relationship 2014. The report outlines the state of university-business collaboration in the UK, featuring expert views and over forty case studies. Read the full report.

“The SMMI at Southampton brings together a research, innovation and education community from universities, research institutes, industry and governments,”

The University of Southampton and marine specialists Lloyd’s Register have a close working relationship that dates back over four decades. In that time, engineers from the two institutions have collaborated on a wide range of technical developments directly related to maritime safety. Summer 2014 will see this relationship cemented even further, when Lloyd’s Register moves its Global Technology Centre to an impressive new headquarters on Southampton’s redeveloped Boldrewood campus.

The £140m campus will be home to the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI), the largest university-business partnership in the UK. At its launch in 2012, the SMMI was described by the Universities and Science Minister David Willetts as exemplary of the relationships required between industry and higher education to drive future economic growth in the UK and around the world.

University of Southampton Vice-Chancellor, Professor Don Nutbeam, says this unique project is the product of understanding and trust built over decades of cooperation.“It really has no parallel in the UK in terms of its scale and ambition. This element of trust has been an essential ingredient in making the unprecedented financial commitment required to bring this about.”

The university hopes that the SMMI and the development of the new campus will be a hub for collaborations that run internationally,acting as a magnet to attract other partners to draw upon the university’s research and development capabilities and the future resource represented by itsstudents.

With around 1000 academic staff and researchers, the SMMI integrates all marine and maritime disciplines across the university. Specialists in ship design and naval architecture, fluid dynamics, acoustics and oceanography, through to arts, humanities and social sciences, are working together to better understand current and future maritime challenges.

The co-location of Lloyd’s Register with the university and its collaboration in the SMMI will help to ensure research support for the marine and maritime sectors, which will catalyse future developments at regional, national and international level. This in turn will enable wealth creation, strategy and policy formulations, new research and enterprise initiatives, as well as graduate employment opportunities for the region’s highly skilled work force.

Tom Boardley, Marine Director for Lloyd’s Register believes that collaborative initiatives such as the SMMI are the way forward for British industry. He says: “When you combine the strengths of business and academia for research purposes, you stimulate the kind of practical innovation that supports sustainable industry. It is strategic technical alliances like these that will ensure our shipping and energy sectors have the solutions they need to remain safe, environmentally responsible and globally competitive.”

The close links with Lloyd’s Register will be supplemented by collaborative frameworks with other UK industrial and societal organisations and government establishments.

“The SMMI at Southampton brings together a research, innovation and education community from universities, research institutes, industry and governments,” says SMMI director, Professor AjitShenoi.

“We envisage it will be a catalyst for ground-breaking interdisciplinary research and development of great significance to industry and society related to the maritime sector. Its future is very exciting.”

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Lloyd’s Register 

University of Southampton

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