Marine Industries and Research


Torbay has long been an important location within the marine industry in the UK and today the connection with sea is as powerful as ever. Torbay is at the heart of the South Coast Marine Cluster, which is recognised as the UK’s leading marine industry hub, with a rich maritime heritage, hundreds of kilometres of coastline, World renowned research institutions and a large and growing network of sector leading, innovative marine companies.

The Torbay cluster and centres of excellence

Torbay has a diverse mix of innovative leading edge, pioneering marine companies such as; Arc Marine who create and design eco engineered marine habitats, Crewtrak who are developing personal marine safety devices, to larger companies such as marine towing experts MTS Marine who are specialist suppliers of maritime services, sea pilots and offshore supply to the English Channel and Western Approaches.

Enhancing this mix further is the Plymouth University Brixham Environmental Laboratory, a ‘blue environmental hub’ which enables marine companies to access a cutting edge research facility and engage with marine academics.

Scymaris - Brix Labs

The facility includes labs, offices and full access to the latest equipment providing marine research companies with resources they need to grow. The lab is also home to anchor tenant Scymaris who provide ecotoxicological fate, plant metabolism and analytical chemistry services to the global agrochemical, pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

Read more about Scymaris here: Scymaris Case Study

Expertise in wider Marine Biology

The lab continues to be focus for expertise in wider marine biology. Environmental DNA experts Applied Genomics provide environmental DNA analysis services for biodiversity monitoring, environmental impact assessment, biosecurity surveillance, threatened species detection and more.

University of Plymouth spin out company Molendotech have developed a simple and fast method for testing levels of faecal bacteria in water. The test can be completed in-situ within 15 minutes without any prior knowledge, compared with existing culture-based methods which take 24 to 48 hours and require specialist staff. It’s patented assay is the driving force behind it’s Siren BW product currently being distributed under licence by Palintest.

South Devon College Marine Academy and Marine training

Torbay and wider South Devon has an excellent reputation for marine training and education where students can attain high level marine engineering and marine technology qualifications. The South Devon College Noss Marine Academy based on the River Dart is a maritime centre of excellence for ongoing training and education. The academy is an approved training centre for the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), a member of The British Marine Federation (BMF) and an accredited centre for City & Guilds, EAL awards and Plymouth University.

Leading edge marine research and support

Plymouth Marine Laboratory is an internationally renowned independent provider of high quality marine research, with centres of expertise in marine systems modelling, marine ecology and satellite remote sensing.

The Marine Innovation Centre in Plymouth accelerates growth by creating intelligent connections between businesses, world-class knowledge, technologies, people and infrastructure. Coupled with the Marine Laboratory this provides Torbay-based businesses with direct access to some of world’s leading experts in marine science and opportunities to trial innovations in marine technology and engineering.

To find out more about opportunities in Torbay for environmental marine research and the wider marine services sector contact Jason Buck, Investment Development Manager on 01803 208799 or email [email protected]


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