PML Applications

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from PML Applications is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Chief Executive
Professor Stephen de Mora
Testing anti-fouling technologies
at MeyGen tidal array
PML Applications Ltd takes the latest marine research
and applies it commercially to aid marine industries in
reducing their impact on the marine environment while
developing new technologies for their businesses. Its in-house
experts have a reputation for reliable and timely delivery and
an understanding of the commercial world to find solutions of
interest to industry and society. Professor Stephen de Mora,
Chief Executive of Plymouth Marine Laboratory and PML
Applications Ltd, tells
The ParliamentaryReview
The ocean provides natural capital, directly through fisheries, transport, energy
and valuable bio-products, or indirectly through climate regulation and provision
of around half the oxygen we breathe. Exploiting these valuable resources while
ensuring the ocean remains sustainable is a delicate balancing act, requiring
excellent knowledge and innovative approaches. We take world-class marine
research and technological development and combine it with innovation to provide
outstanding service to industry across a global client base.
Our parent organisation, PML, is a leading marine research institute targeted
towards understanding how we can continue to exploit the ocean’s resources
while ensuring the ecological sustainability of the seas. Almost 20 years ago, we
took the decision to create our trading arm, PML Applications Ltd, focused, where
appropriate, on commercialising the best of this excellent science, or using it to
mitigate some of those threats the ocean faces.
»Chief Executive: Professor
Stephen de Mora
»Established in 2002
»Based in Plymouth, Devon
»Services: Ballast water testing,
biofouling, corrosion control,
marine survey, geospatial
»2018/19 turnover grew by 93
per cent on previous financial
PML Applications Ltd
Highlighting best practice
Stowaways and hitchhikers
The process of exploiting the ocean
is not without its challenges; climate
change, water quality, pollution and
invasive species are only some of the
challenges commanding our attention.
Invasive species in particular can
present a real threat to the survival
of native species and have serious
economic effects.
The discharge of ballast water – used
by ships in huge quantities for stability
and trim – has been identified as
a major source of invasive species.
Our Ballast Water Centre provides
the scientific, professional and
technical expertise required to confirm
compliance of ballast water treatment
systems and whether they meet US and
International Maritime Organization
regulations – the latter of which is still
to be ratified by the UK government.
The BWC is now working with global
shipping companies, including Carnival
UK, to test ballast water management
systems and ensure they meet these
requirements to prevent non-native
species being introduced from and into
ports around the world.
Growth of organisms on subsea
surfaces is a major concern for all
industries that place structures in the
sea including shipping, renewable
energy, power stations and offshore
oil and gas rigs. Biofouling organisms
on ship hulls increase drag and slow
ships down, leading to higher fuel
consumption and increased greenhouse
gas emissions, all the while providing
a pathway for invasive species to move
around the world’s seas.
The growth of barnacles and other
fouling organisms impedes the
efficiency of moving parts such as
subsea turbines, and block pipes and
inlets. Finding effective environmentally
safe, economically viable and easily
applied solutions is the primary activity
of our Centre for Marine Biofouling and
Corrosion, or CMBC. Working with
international companies, including
Rolls-Royce and AkzoNobel, the CMBC
assists its customers by testing and
developing novel coating technologies
together with researching the
fundamental mechanics of the fouling
Such is the reputation gained by our
teams that they are much sought-after
as advisers on a range of national
and international bodies including the
Global TestNet, which brings together
organisations across the world involved
in shipboard testing for certification of
ballast water management systems and
ships’ biofouling management under
the IMO’s Ballast Water Management
Convention and biofouling guidelines.
We are also a strategic partner in the
GloFouling Partnership, where we both
supply expert opinions and influence
forward strategy and policy. Our team
also works with statutory bodies,
including carrying out non-native
species surveys, for example, on behalf
of Natural England.
Coating tests for marine
renewables at the
European Marine Energy
Niche area inspection on
ship’s hull
We take world-
class marine
research and
and combine it
with innovation
to provide
service to
industry across
a global client
Going forward
Looking ahead, our Innovation
Centre aims to take marine science to
commercial markets, such as supplying
research vessels with carbon dioxide
monitoring instruments – including
the UK’s newest, the RRS
Sir David
. Feasibility studies are a
natural way to use our expertise, and
we are working with companies to
determine the potential for developing
a sustainable scallop hatchery as a
contribution to the increasing importance
of aquaculture to offset demands on
declining fisheriesworldwide.
A growing risk to aquaculture is
incursion of harmful algal blooms;
detecting these at an early stage is
important to prevent losses from
damage to stock, or closures to
reduce threats to human health. Our
Centre for Geospatial Applications is
accessing satellite imagery in almost
real time to spot approaching algal
blooms for a number of customers,
thus allowing preventative measures
to be put in place. Satellites are also
used by CGA across other topics,
such as marine ocean colour, oil spill
detection and the monitoring of illegal
fishing and climate projection as well
as working internationally with the
EC’s Copernicus Programme, UK and
European Space Agencies and industry.
Sharing our expertise is an important
element of what we do, so training
in techniques and encouraging better
understanding of challenges and
solutions for the future has grown as
a service, including leading massive
online open courses as well as
dedicated industry training.
We are now firmly established as
a reliable and effective gateway to
accessing the latest marine research and
technology for commercial use across
the shipping, marine coatings, ports and
harbours, marine energy, fisheries and
aquaculture, marine planning, maritime
security and environmental sectors.
We identify emerging issues where
our expertise and experience can be
brought to bear to provide outstanding
marine consultation, services and
products to a global client base.
Our parent
PML, is a leading
marine research
institute targeted
how we can
continue to
exploit the
ocean’s resources
while ensuring
the ecological
sustainability of
the seas
Satellite sensors detect
harmful algal blooms
(orange), a threat to
On-board ballast water treatment
system efficacy testing for Carnival

This article was sponsored by PML Applications. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.