Riggers UK is using its skills and experience to develop an innovative marine energy device, thanks to expert support from the Marine-i project.
Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i is designed to help the marine tech sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through harnessing the full potential of research and innovation.
Riggers UK is an independent rigging firm established more than 25 years ago and based in Penryn. Director Ben Carne explained: “We had identified this exciting new opportunity for our business but sought help with accelerating its development. We faced the challenge of introducing new working practices and methodologies, so we felt the need for some expert assistance.”
The company engaged with the Marine-i project and benefitted from a tailored package of support. Marine-i gave business advice and completed an Innovation Toolkit to help Riggers UK improve its RD&I processes.
For their marine energy device, Dr Giovanni Rinaldi from the University of Exeter provided research support in the formulation of a numerical model and experimental testing of a scaled version of the device in the university’s ORE flume tank. Marine-i awarded a Rapid Innovation Grant to help develop the detailed design, before progressing to the prototype stage. This design work was carried out by Solis Marine Engineering.
Carne added: “It has been immensely helpful to receive such a comprehensive level of support, which has really helped to kickstart the whole development process. Through Marine-i we have been able to access expert testing and analysis from business research fellows who are leaders in their field.”
Prof Lars Johanning of University of Exeter, lead partner for Marine-i, commented: “This is a classic example of an established company that had an excellent new idea for diversification, but needed some expert help to get their development process underway.
“This is exactly the type of project that Marine-i was designed to assist. By helping to accelerate this new development, it will create important growth opportunities for Riggers UK and bring vital new skills and capabilities into their business.”