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Marine-i event showcases the pioneering work of Cornwall’s marine tech businesses

Setting the scene

On 1st November 2019, Marine-i hosted the Marine Tech Transformers event at Heartlands, Pool.

The overall aim of the day was to showcase some of the award-winning technology, products for global markets and cutting-edge industry and research collaborations which have benefited from the support of Marine-i.

Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i was designed to help the marine tech sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through harnessing the full potential of research and innovation.

Introducing the day, Prof Lars Johanning of University of Exeter, lead partner for Marine-i, highlighted a number of the key achievements of the project. These include supporting 100 Cornish businesses with market-led RD&I, providing grant support to 61 innovation projects, helping bring 14 new products to market, and leveraging £1.25 million in private match funding. He says:

“Marine-i has helped to transform marine technology innovation in Cornwall. The county now has the potential to play a pivotal role in the sustainable marine industries of the future, including marine energy, marine manufacturing, maritime operations and marine environmental technologies. Cornwall is becoming recognised as a world player in these important growth technologies.”

The keynote speech was delivered by Technology Chairman and NED, Robert Salvoni, whose theme was Beyond the Horizon. Drawing on his wide experience of running specialist, hi-tech businesses, Robert detailed many of the vital elements that businesses of this kind must pay attention to in order to be successful. These include closely monitoring your key performance indicators, so that you have a clear picture of the overall health of the business, and exercising tight control of your  finances, especially cash flow.

Delegates were then shown the legacy video produced by the Marine-i team, which brought to life the exciting breadth and scope of marine innovation that has emerged from Cornwall over the life of the project.

Session 1 : Focus on Collaborative Research

This session was compered by Simon Cheeseman of The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, who introduced four groundbreaking projects.

Falmouth Harbour Commissioners: Dr Giovanni Rinaldi of University of Exeter explained the work done to develop a new modular mooring system to be manufactured locally and deployed using existing local vessels. This will give Falmouth Harbour the potential to attract more cruise ship operators.

AMOG: Peter Mazurenko of AMOG and Dr Scott Brown of University detailed the exciting progress made in the development of AMOG’s revolutionary wave energy device. After exhaustive trials at University of Plymouth’s COAST Lab a 1:3 scale device was installed at FaBTest and successfully generated power.

3D Kernow: Louis Turner of 3D Kernow and Dr Tessa Gordelier of University of Exeter explained their project to improve the mechanical strength of 3D printed components. These findings will allow marine sector clients to take advantage of the full potential offered by this technology.

ARC Marine: Tom Birbeck of ARC Marine and Dr Scott Brown of University of Plymouth presented the pioneering Reef Cubes product, which can be used to create artificial reefs to provide lasting marine habitats for some of our most precious species.


Session 2: Focus on Supporting Growth

Matt Hodson, Marine Hub Operations Director for Cornwall Development Company, a partner in the Marine-i project, introduced five developments where Marine-i has helped local businesses take advantage of important growth opportunities.

Inyanga-Tech: Managing Director Richard Parkinson presented their cutting-edge innovation in tidal energy. Their HydroWing technology greatly reduces the dependency on offshore vessels during the construction phase, improving commercial viability – even in remote areas.

Subsea Minerals: Chairman Robert Gooden explained how their unique Subsea Scout Drill provides a combined platform and drilling unit which delivers faster landing on the seabed and much quicker mineral collection. It is self-levelling, so it can operate in wide variety of seabed conditions.

Imetrum: Marketing Manager, Mandy Jackson and Research Engineer, Nicholas Burn explained Imetrum’s new, non-invasive sensing technology for wind turbines and marine diesel engines. This will use Machine Learning to analyse the performance of moving parts to optimise performance and maintenance.

Submarine Technology Limited: Managing Director David Kirkley presented STL’s new multi-axis robotic arm technology. This will enable intervention tasks to be carried out from manned or autonomous vessels used in the inspection and repair of offshore installations.

Unmanned Survey Solutions: Director James Williams presented their Accession Class unmanned survey vessel, which is designed to perform long endurance missions for the offshore industries. This innovative vessel will also be able to launch and recover drones for aerial inspections.

Daniel Hook, an Independent Maritime Consultant, gave a talk on the future of the industry, detailing the challenges ahead and the new opportunities for our marine businesses, and how we need to support them in order to help them reach their full potential.


Showcase Exhibition

Lisa Beverley-Jones, Marine-i Project Manager, gave the closing address for the event and thanked all the businesses that had taken part and the delegates that had taken time to attend. She also invited delegates to attend a special Marine-i Showcase Exhibition staged at the event, where they could see for themselves many of the new marine technologies described above.


A bright future for our marine technology

Commenting this highly successful event, Prof Lars Johanning says:

“Marine-i has been a powerful catalyst for innovation and has proven that there is massive ambition among marine businesses in Cornwall to develop pioneering solutions to worldwide challenges. Marine-i has provided the vital support they needed to de-risk the RD&I process and unlock the huge potential that exists in the region.

“Marine-i has helped to create an environment where innovative marine businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly now have a much greater chance of long-term success. That is our legacy and we look forward to seeing these foundations being built upon.”


The Marine Tech Transformers brochure

Marine-i has produced a special brochure telling the story of the work that has been done to accelerate marine technology innovation in Cornwall from 2017 to 2019.

The brochure explains the aims and impact of the Marine-i project, contains profiles of 75 of the businesses that have been involved, and features detailed case studies on 10 of the industry-leading projects that have been supported.

You can download your copy of Marine Tech Transformers here.