ACUA Ocean and HydroSurv, two UK-based companies specialising in maritime autonomous systems, have announced their intention to merge, combining extensive expertise in the development and operation of Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USVs) and associated technologies for marine surveying and surveillance.
The new company, to be named Blue Ocean Autonomy, will deliver turnkey solutions across a broad spectrum of capabilities, covering the inland, nearshore and offshore sectors.
David Hull, Founder and CEO of HydroSurv said: “In an evolving market, customer demand is shifting towards a comprehensive solution for trusted and certified USV systems. In response to this trend, we are excited to announce the intent to merge our two companies with a shared focus on accelerating the availability of these solutions for widespread commercial use, expanding our market presence and providing a better value offer to our customers.”
Blue Ocean Autonomy’s strategy will centre around low and zero-emission vessel operations with a strong focus on sustainability. It will leverage both companies’ technologies; HydroSurv’s commercially proven electric and battery-hybrid Rapid Environmental Assessment Vessels (REAV – pictured) and ACUA Ocean’s hydrogen-powered H-USV, being developed as part of the UK Department for Transport’s flagship Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) programme.
The merger will deliver a broad offering of both near-shore and long-endurance vessels, from 2.8m to 13.5m, for ocean data collection, hydrographic, geophysical and environmental survey and surveillance and monitoring of critical offshore infrastructure.
Neil Tinmouth, Founder and CEO of ACUA Ocean said: “Our emphasis has always been on what is best for our customers. This merger represents a natural progression of our vision and values with a company that is a strong cultural, as well as technological, fit. The new entity will undoubtedly be greater than the sum of its parts, establishing one of the most experienced and talented teams in marine autonomy.”
Commenting on the merger, Tom Chant MBE, CEO of the Society of Maritime Industries added: “In an increasingly competitive market, this merger represents a unique opportunity for UK SMEs to make their mark on the fast-growing autonomous vessel space. We look forward to supporting their progress through their membership of SMI and the MAS Working Group.”