Funding helps innovative marine business to grow
Naval architect Bob Colclough has a passion for marine renewable energy and has spent his career exploring the use of new technologies to help create a better and more sustainable future. 18 months ago he set up his own company – Morek Engineering – to provide specialist technical consultancy services to deliver offshore wind, wave and tidal projects across the world, and now, with the help of European funding, is working with partners to create new opportunities in the south west for the fast growing floating offshore wind market.
“I have always had a particular interest in projects which generate clean energy using the power of the sea, and in exploring the use of low carbon technologies to reduce the impact of marine transportation. I have also been involved in looking at ways to tackle marine pollution,” explained Bob.
“Setting up my own company has given me the opportunity to use my specialist naval architecture and marine engineering skills and experience to work on projects which will deliver these objectives and help to reduce the environmental impact of the marine industry.”
Since being launched in 2019, Morek (Maritime in Cornish) has provided specialist consultancy services that focus on designing marine energy systems, including specialist offshore equipment, moorings and cables.
The team are also looking at the emerging floating offshore wind sector, forging links with other companies across the south west and UK. With greater awareness of the impact of climate change, the development of new cutting-edge technologies and increasing public and political support for renewable energy, there is likely to be an increase in offshore wind power projects during the next few years.
While fixed offshore wind farms have become increasingly common, floating wind farms, which can take advantage of bigger, more consistent winds further out in the ocean, are still being developed and Morek is keen to play a key role.
“The South West, with its deep waters, energetic coastline, strong winds and tough sea-beds, is well placed to become a global leader in this technology,” said Bob. “We already have the offshore energy expertise to support the development of floating wind farms in Cornwall which would bring significant benefits to the local economy.”
As a new company based in Cornwall, Morek has benefited from support from a number of local projects which have received European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) through the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme. These include the Growth Hub, which helped the team to develop its legal documentation, and provided accounting, finance and marketing support; PROPEL Cornwall which provides business support to the marine industry, and Tevi which provided funding for Morek to develop its sustainability policy.
Morek’s team are now working with the research, development and innovation programme Marine-i, also funded by ERDF, on developing sector leading software to optimise their seafastening for offshore operations. Seafastening is a process which enables the huge pieces of equipment needed for offshore wind turbines to be safely transported by sea on specially constructed vessels.
“Support from these organisations has played a key part in our development and growth. Many new companies don’t realise this support is available or how important is to develop their business,” said Bob.
“During the past 18 months we have worked hard to develop a stable pipeline of work and are now an established company. We are now looking to build on this strong foundation and focus on delivering our key objectives of supporting marine renewable energy projects, developing low carbon shipping and tackling marine pollution.”
For more information on support available to businesses in Cornwall visit: www.ciosgrowthhub.com.