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Crown Estate Scotland joins Marine Data Exchange

28 September 2023

Crown Estate Scotland and The Crown Estate have today announced a new partnership to collect and share data that will provide a more comprehensive and integrated understanding of the UK’s seabed. This new arrangement will benefit its many different users, the natural environment and support the faster, more sustainable roll-out of offshore technologies that are critical to the UK’s transition to a net zero energy future.

Founded by The Crown Estate in 2013 as the first resource of its type, the Marine Data Exchange provides a world-leading digital platform for gathering and disseminating vital information on a wide-range of offshore activities. It currently holds one of the world’s largest collections of freely available data relating to the seas around England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and will now be extended to cover Scottish waters.

The portal’s simple-to-use search function provides access to an unparalleled range of information from a variety of industries, including offshore wind, tidal and wave energy, and marine aggregates, as well as data from research and evidence projects.

By making the wealth of data collected by offshore industries freely available, the Marine Data Exchange helps offshore projects in UK waters to make informed, evidence-based decisions and to address consenting and planning challenges. By working with customers and stakeholders to make data and evidence publicly available, the Marine Data Exchange helps support the sustainable development of the seabed whilst protecting the UK’s thriving marine environment for future generations.

The Marine Data Exchange forms part of The Crown Estate’s ongoing commitment to investing in evidence and data as part of its strategic focus on climate change and energy security, nature recovery and support for economic growth.

Gus Jaspert, Managing Director for Marine, The Crown Estate said: “The UK’s seabed is central to a green and secure energy future as well as home to many different jobs, livelihoods and important natural habitats and wildlife. Having the best evidence and data is a critical part of managing this complex and increasingly busy place in the right way.

“We’re delighted to be announcing this partnership on the Marine Data Exchange’s 10th anniversary, further boosting one of the best offshore datasets available in the world.

By working together to create a better understanding of the seabed, we can more effectively support the UK’s transition to an energy secure, net zero future and make smarter decisions for the benefit of the natural world and the many people who use the marine environment.”

Colin Palmer, Director of Marine, Crown Estate Scotland, said: “This new MDE partnership with The Crown Estate will offer a wide range of benefits to many people, and will be crucial in supporting the successful delivery of offshore wind by providing common data standards and handling arrangements.

“The MDE will help the UK to decarbonise and meet its net-zero targets by supporting the delivery of the recently concluded ScotWind Leasing round, which involves 20 projects totalling 27.6GW of clean energy and which is central to efforts to tackle the climate emergency, secure the UK’s energy supply, and generate billions of pounds of investment in the economy.”

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