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President opens 'largest ship simulation centre in the UK'

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UK Chamber President Sir Michael Bibby has opened the Maritime Simulation Centre at Solent University in Southampton.

The new state-of-the-art development is the largest ship and port simulation centre in the UK and features a variety of facilities including six full-mission navigational bridges, an engine simulator, a liquid cargo handling and a crane operation simulator.

Speaking at the opening ceremony Sir Michael said:

“Today is not just the opening of a new state-of-the-art development.  As exciting as that is.  It’s the beginning of the next chapter in the history of Southampton as an extraordinary maritime centre.

“With Southampton port being busier than ever with cruise, container and other traffic it is easy to forget that shipping does not have the same profile in the rest of the country, the governments adoption of the Maritime 2050 strategy to keep us as a great maritime nation going forward is therefore critical.”

He made an impassioned pitch in favour of building major port towns and cities into maritime clusters as a way of boosting the national economy. 

“Maritime 2050 is looking to build world leading clusters of expertise in the UK in target areas from autonomous shipping to green fuels and combine government sponsorship with the talents of our shipowners, ports, service industries, academia and professional services. It is therefore a really important time for the university to be investing in new state of the art training 

“This is the model by which we will win new investment and encourage UK entrepreneurs to see opportunity in the maritime space. It’s the way we will create new jobs and grow the economy.  It’s the way we will decarbonise and improve our environmental record.  But it’s also the way we will create a safer work environment for our seafarers.

"Because simulators like this give cadets realistic training, it allows them to practice, again and again, in situations that cannot be replicated in any other learning environment.  In that sense not only is this facility attracting the deck and engine officers of the future, it is providing opportunity for existing seafarers to continue their training.  And each of them will become a better, and safer seafarer as a result.”

Photo credit: Warsash Maritime Academy