Five businesses from Cornwall visited the National Renewable Energy Centre last week on a fully funded trip, for an in-depth tour of the test facilities at the site in Blyth, Northumberland.

The flagship centre, which is owned by ORE Catapult, is one of over 20 world class test facilities which businesses supported by Marine-i can access, in order to accelerate innovation in marine technology.

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

The visit provided a chance for networking with the Marine-i team; an opportunity to see first-hand the wind and tidal turbine drivetrain test rigs, blade test facility, high voltage laboratory, materials laboratory and Marine Energy Test Centre; meet with research and test rig staff to gain a better appreciation of the innovation challenges facing the offshore renewables sector; and inspire ideas for product and services development.

The visiting businesses were: Altum Green Energy, Bluefruit Software, Composite Integration, Inductive Power Projection and Zcom. Colleagues from the Marine-i project who accompanied the businesses were: Simon Cheeseman and Julie Taylor of ORE Catapult and Alex Whatley from University of Plymouth.

Hugh Jennings of Altum Green Energy Ltd said: “It was brilliant to be shown around the Blyth testing facility; hugely informative and eye-opening to see cutting-edge innovation in action.

“The trip has given me great confidence that partnering with Marine-i and ORE Catapult will be hugely beneficial to us as a small business, due to the market leading facilities and expertise on site.”

Simon Cheeseman of ORE Catapult said: “We are delighted that our businesses found it such a worthwhile trip, and we look forward to working with them in the future on their marine innovation projects. We would urge any businesses in Cornwall that are interest in support through Marine-i to contact the project as soon as possible, as time is running out for funded support for projects.”

And Professor Lars Johanning, programme director for Marine-i, added: “Through Marine-i, we help businesses in Cornwall develop their innovation in marine tech and accelerate commercialisation of their ideas. The outstanding test facilities available through ORE Catapult, including the National Renewable Energy Centre, are amongst more than 20 world class facilities to which we can provide access through the Marine-i project. This list also includes the Coast Lab at University of Plymouth and The Dynamic Marine Component Test Facility at University of Exeter.”

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