Marine-i bags £6.8M from ERDF for Cornish marine innovation

Marine-i, a collaborative project set up to boost marine innovation in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, has secured up to £6.8 million through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Forming a part of the recently established Marine Hub Cornwall, Marine-i is a £9.3 million collaborative project created to stimulate and support business-led and market-driven research and development and innovation to drive productivity and the exploitation of new market opportunities.

It will focus on four interconnected themes including marine energy, marine manufacturing, maritime operations and marine environmental technologies.

The collaboration includes the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, The Cornwall College Group, Cornwall Marine Network, Cornwall Development Company and, the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult.

The Marine-i team will include the innovation managers and business research fellows from the partners who will provide direct business to business technology innovation support to SMEs, and will act as the conduit to access the wide range of specialist services and facilities that are available within the project, according to Wave Hub.

Lars Johanning, Marine-iProject Manager, said: “Marine-i will strengthen business innovation and has been set up in direct response to the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly marine roadmap to secure the continued growth of this sector.

“There is an expectation that as the regional commercial infrastructure grows, the marine sector will grow in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly through smart innovations benefiting from the expertise and skills within the local supply chain and academia. This funding provides a unique opportunity for businesses to enhance expertise and create jobs through collaboration and co-creation.”

Marine-i will be based in the Hayle Marine Renewables Business Park, and will also support businesses wishing to access the £3.18 million Marine Challenge Fund – a delegated grant scheme that has been specifically designed to drive marine sector research, development and innovation.

Wave Hub also informed that further activities are being planned to encourage and enable businesses to gain access to the region’s key research and development and innovation assets, facilities, knowledge and expertise.