Research & Innovation Services

Roy Wyatt: A Fast-Changing Knowledge Economy

Roy Wyatt is Managing Director of Seiche Measurements Ltd, which he formed in 1997, and has since gone from strength to strength. Today we talk to Roy about supporting the knowledge economy.

Tell us about Seiche Measurements Ltd and its areas of business activity?

Seiche is particularly involved in all areas of underwater acoustic technology. We deliver acoustic and visual mitigation and measurement solutions to the Oil and Gas and Renewables industries as well as working with research organisations, NGOs and naval institutes. We provide equipment and expertise and also run regular training courses in underwater acoustics and marine mammal monitoring in the UK and abroad.

Seiche has been involved in several successful KTPs with the University of Bath. How has this been effective in delivering for Seiche as a business?

The KTPs have been invaluable to us, bringing new talent to our growing R&D department. The KTPs and their work have been integral to some of our commercial bids. They work as part of our team, both in the office designing and developing our latest products, as well as when we install our high tech kit offshore. In fact, right now one KTP Associate is in South Africa on a research trial and another has just been working in Alaska on a major noise measurement project out there.

How can business access to the University knowledge base be further improved and how could universities become a more useful source of innovation for businesses?

More collaboration and increased communication has to be a positive way forward on both fronts. This can only lead to more potential for innovation which will be of mutual benefit.

What more could Research Councils and government funders do to support SMEs and innovation?

Clearer local guidelines and case studies that show how SMEs have benefitted directly from research in universities would be useful.

Has the knowledge exchange culture changed within universities and if so what are the benefits for businesses?

Yes, universities in general, and certainly the University of Bath, are responding to the needs of a fast-changing knowledge economy as they become more market-orientated. Business benefits from access to the development and research that helps them to maintain a competitive edge. As an example, one of our current KTP Associates has pioneered a fantastic Camera Monitoring Technology System for real-time monitoring of marine mammals with HD and thermal imaging cameras as well as bespoke software for Real-time Automated Distance Estimation at Sea (RADES).

What are the challenges for Seiche operating globally as an SME?

Maintaining a competitive edge in a field in which there are several global players competing on price, functionality and reliability.

What issues do SMEs face in recruiting high quality engineers and what could universities do to support this?

Undergraduate engineers need to experience the excitement, challenge and opportunities of working in SMEs - which can be more immediate and rewarding than in a large organisation. Short-term placements and ‘live’ student projects based on current developments can help to provide this.

Further information on Seiche Measurements Ltd.

For further information on how the University can support you with knowledge exchange please contact:

Dr Miles Davis
Head of Research Development and Knowledge Exchange (RD&KE)