An award-winning Cornish marine innovation has just launched its prototype in Penryn.

WorkFloat is a self-propelled floating work platform that ‘folds’ up to tow behind a 4×4 on the road or slides into a standard shipping container.

The concept was introduced at a main industry trade show last summer. Not only did WorkFloat receive strong feedback, but its clever folding workboat also won the overall ‘Spirit of Innovation’ award at the European Commercial Marine Awards.

After the show, the team returned to Cornwall and have since been busy building a prototype of their ‘WorkFloat Lite’ model which was launched in Penryn last month.

WorkFloat is seen as a good example of how Cornwall is leading innovation in the maritime sector on a global level.

From investors and grants, through to design and build, WorkFloat is proud to emphasise its product is ‘Made in Cornwall’.

Founder and director, Toby Budd, said: ‘’It’s been a full-on 12 months since we founded the company. The first challenge was finding investors. I was lucky to find Rob at Mylor Ventures who put me in contact with some local business angels who have not only put in money in but have been invaluable mentors and sounding boards.

“We then received a number of grants to help us develop the idea and build a prototype. Marine-i was critical, as well as grants from Accelerate Through Innovation, Oxford Innovation, Cornwall Marine Network and Unlocking Cornish Potential.’’

He added: “Once we had the investment in place, we then had to build the thing. With the help of naval architect Jack Gifford in Penryn, we developed a set of designs and then chose Danny at Metalcraft, also in Penryn, to do the main fabrication. The fit-out was also all done by local contractors.”

The prototype is now being taken around the UK to show a number of government agencies and marine businesses that have expressed an interest. The team are hopeful that now the Proof of Concept work has been done, and the industry response has been positive, that sales are expected to follow.