Research and Development

Our commitment to Research and Development (R&D) provides innovation that drives the company forward.

BlueZone invests in R&D, particularly ocean engineering and associated technologies, to ensure we are known as an essential contributor to Australia’s ocean engineering capability, especially in the field of underwater vehicles and systems.

Our rationale is that the worlds’ oceans remain largely unexplored: 71% of the surface of the globe is water, 80% of all life is found beneath the surface and almost a third of all oil comes from offshore fields. The world’s oceans are the largest active carbon sink on Earth and understanding the oceans is fundamental to understanding the impact of climate change on the planet. Underwater technology creates the tools to measure, manage and utilise ocean resources.


Research and Development begins with skills development in high schools that encourages students to select Science Engineering Technology and Maths (STEM) subjects so that further studies in science and engineering are possible. To support this BlueZone provides placements for high school work experience students, supports engineering awards at high schools and participates in programs such as the Manufacturing Engineering (ME) program and F1 in schools.

Our “Build Your Own ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle)” is a perennially popular project for high school students who work under the guidance of our workshop staff to procure, assemble and test their own ROV in a one week project. This project introduces students to some of the challenges and techniques in design and engineering for marine environments and gives them an experience of the excitement of a career in ocean engineering.

At the university level, we sponsor PhD students from major Australian universities including ANU and the University of Newcastle, and support 4th-year engineering student projects including the Seafox Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). Our engineering internship placements aim to provide interesting and motivating projects for engineering students completing their work experience requirements and we have hosted students from the University of Newcastle, Sydney University, Curtin University and the University of Southern California at Santa Barbara, USA.

Our engineering team is comprised of Bachelor of Engineering graduates who undertake innovative and challenging project and product development research and development tasks alongside their commitments to service and sales support for our customers. We aim to leverage partnerships with industry, government research organisations and universities, to deliver the best solution technology can offer, and the expertise to take that solution from theoretical to practical.

Investment in Research & Development

The Booz Allen Hamilton Global Innovation 1000 Report shows that the top 1,000 corporate R&D spenders invest 4.2% of their revenue on R&D. This average has been relatively stable over the last five years studied. BlueZone aims to meet or exceed this average and our investment for past years is shown in the table below.

 Year Investment as a percentage of revenue
 2020 4.3%
 2019 1.50%
2018 1.86%
2017 4.61%
2016 6.93%
2015 2.89%
2014 7.15%
2013 7.98%
2012 9.64%
2011 13.64%
2010 10.53%
2009 13.50%
2008 14.80%
2007 7.75%
2006 7.00%

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