About the seminar

At our ‘Navigating the changing maritime landscape’ seminar during London International Shipping Week 2021, UKHO experts explored how the next generation of navigational technologies and marine data solutions will help shipping to meet these era-defining challenges.

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Event details

We hosted two sessions to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the changing maritime landscape, both sessions will feature the same content. Our interactive online seminar took place virtually, or our in-person seminar was held at the internationally renowned Lloyd’s building, both as part of London International Shipping Week. The seminar was presented by Thomas Mellor, Head of Technical Partnerships at the UKHO.

Explore the seminar topics


This is a critical time for shipping. A technological transformation is unleashing the power of digital navigation, delivering a new generation of data solutions to support safer, more efficient voyages, and advancing the prospect of autonomous shipping. The regulatory landscape is responding, with new rules that are growing in complexity. Meanwhile, the health of our oceans is becoming critical, as shipping strives to meet its carbon reduction targets, whilst remaining the engine of global trade.

The UKHO’s Head of Technical Partnerships, Thomas Mellor, discussed the following challenges facing the maritime industry:

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What opportunities will the next generation of navigation solutions bring?

The next generation of navigation solutions will deliver a huge leap forward in capabilities. Tom explained more about the new ‘S-100’ data standard, which will underpin these technological advances and transform how marine data is used for passage planning and voyage optimisation.

Image source: Thalis

How do we make autonomous shipping a reality?

The potential of autonomous vessels will only become a reality if we can solve the challenges of autonomous navigation. Tom provided an update on the development of the new data standards and technologies that will support safe navigation for autonomous shipping.

marine data

How can marine data support the future of our oceans?

Marine data is a vital asset in the fight to protect our oceans, defend our coastlines, and curb shipping’s carbon impact. Tom explored how enhanced marine data can help ship owners to reduce their emissions, improve our ocean stewardship, and realise the potential of the blue economy.



Find out more about more about the UKHO experts leading this seminar.

Peter Sparkes

Peter Sparkes

Job description
Chief Executive

As Chief Executive, Peter leads the UK Hydrographic Office’s important work in supporting safe, secure and thriving oceans.

Before joining the UKHO, Peter served as a Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy, where he worked in a wide variety of appointments both at sea on operations and ashore. Notably, he commanded the frigate HMS CUMBERLAND on counter-piracy patrol off Somalia and the UK’s Ice Patrol Ship, HMS PROTECTOR, in Antarctica. In addition to this, he commanded the 44 units (aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates, mine-hunters, patrol vessels, and the maritime explosive ordinance disposal teams) of the Portsmouth Flotilla.

Ashore, Peter Sparkes has served in Ministry of Defence acquisition appointments and was responsible for the development and introduction into RN service of the Warship Electronic Charting Display Information System. Prior to joining UKHO he served as the Chief of Defence Staff’s liaison officer in the Pentagon, Washington DC.

Tom Mellow Headshot

Thomas Mellor

Job description
Head of Technical Partnerships

As Head of Technical Partnerships, Tom leads the UKHO’s collaboration with technical partners including Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to enable the development of e-navigation products and S-100 solutions for Electronic Chart and Information Display Systems (ECDIS). Tom works at the forefront of the latest ‘next generation’ navigation technologies to support the implementation of new standards that can help improve safety, efficiency and optimisation.