Matthew Hancock unveils £4m research centre

Matthew Hancock, Minister of State for the Department of Business, yesterday opened a new £4m centre for research into unmanned autonomous boats, submarines and other vessels, a market that is estimated to be worth £9bn each year over the next 8 years.

The centre will create 3,700 permanent jobs thanks to new progress on City Deal.

Tapping into unique expertise in Portsmouth, the centre is a testbed for new systems and technology that can be sold to defence and civilian customers around the world.

The Centre for Maritime Intelligence Systems (CMIS) was announced by the Prime Minister in July 2013 and is already up and running. It brings together academics, scientists, engineers and naval specialists at Portsdown Technology Park and has received support worth £4m from government, industry and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Matthew Hancock said: “This centre puts Portsmouth at the forefront of a growing £9bn a year market. Whether it’s for environmental monitoring, gas exploration or clearing underwater mines, there is massive potential for unmanned vessels.

“Technology developed here can play a big role in Portsmouth’s future. The city has the talent and expertise to lead the world in this area.”

Hancock concluded: “We chose Portsmouth as the best location for this centre in July and thanks to hard work from government, industry and local leaders we have got it off the ground in double quick time.”