SCORE Awards a Hat-Trick of Grants to East of England SMEs
Grant programme, Supply Chain innovation for Offshore Renewable Energy (SCORE), has announced three new grant recipients, all whose projects illustrate the innovation and entrepreneurship thriving in the East of England’s offshore renewable energy sector.
Working in collaboration with Cambridge University, Essex-based GreenSpur is developing a new cost effective generator design for the wind turbine market. Known as a direct drive generator, GreenSpur’s design will enable the generator to be driven directly by the turbine blades. The £50,000 SCORE grant will assist the company’s founders, Hugh-Peter Kelly and Andrew Hine, to develop a demonstration prototype generator, fully modelled by the University of Cambridge, as well as develop projections for full scale performance and manufacturing costings.
Hugh-Peter Kelly comments: “SCORE funding has not only enabled us to take our innovative generator design to the next stage, but its endorsement has also provided a significant boost to our ongoing quest for the additional funding we need to bring our design to market.”
Norwich-based Wellton Energy is using its SCORE grant to progress its inaugural European inward investment project, in which the company is overseeing the expansion of a European based sub-sea cable specialist to a new facility in the East of England. Whilst assisting several oil, gas and renewable service companies with sales, marketing and business development, Wellton Energy identified an opportunity in the market to provide on-the-ground assistance to companies seeking to drive forward their expansion or relocation to the East of England.
The SCORE grant has enabled the Wellton Energy team to accelerate its involvement with the European based sub-sea cable specialist. Two project managers are now working on the project and undertaking all aspects of the expansion from UK registration of the company, sourcing appropriate premises with direct access to the North Sea, and appointing legal and accountancy firms.
Jason Brighton, Director of Wellton Energy comments: “When companies look to expand or relocate their main aim is to work with a local team that not only understands the needs of their specific industry, but can work with them to overcome the business legalities of setting up a UK operation. We provide companies with sales and marketing intelligence prior to the expansion or relocation making entry into the market relatively smooth and seamless.
“SCORE funding has contributed significantly to the future plans of Wellton Energy and has enabled us to confidently undertake our first European inward investment project. The grant has also helped give us the commercial ‘push’ to create marketing materials to promote this service and plans are now in place to exhibit at the Manchester EIC Connect Show in November.”
The third SCORE grant recipient is the Le Mark Group, based in Houghton, Cambridgeshire. The company has been awarded over £8,000 to enable it to launch its latest range of Dirty Rigger heavy duty gloves, designed specifically to meet the demanding needs of workers in the offshore energy industry.
Developed in consultation with riggers and engineers working on offshore oil rigs, drill ships and wind farms around the world, the new Dirty Rigger offshore gloves provide protection to engineers against some of the harshest weather conditions nature can deliver. Made from branded materials including Dupont and 3M, along with Le Mark’s own Hexa-grip and XO-Skeleton patented technology, the range of six gloves also feature attributes, including EN388 Level 5 cut resistance, Scotchlite knuckle strips for low visibility conditions, neoprene wrist protection and micro-perforations between fingers for ventilation.
Le Mark is using its SCORE grant to undertake a global marketing launch of its bespoke gloves, which will commence in November.
Steve Exon, non-executive director of Le Mark Group comments: “We have been impressed with SCORE on two levels. Not only was the grant application process very straight forward, with help available at every stage, but we have also benefitted from the relationships the SCORE team enjoys within the offshore industry. In our case Richard Salmon brokered an opportunity with one of the country’s leading access and maintenance companies for the offshore energy sector and arranged for their engineers to test our gloves in the field and provide feedback. Such feedback, prior to agreeing the final design, has proved invaluable.
“Whilst Le Mark has been established for over 30 years, SCORE funding is providing incredible assistance to a small division of a £5 million company, which will enable us to undertake a much larger marketing launch than would ordinarily be feasible.”
Richard Salmon, project manager and business advisor for SCORE comments: “These three new grants exemplify the type of companies SCORE was established to support and highlight the diversity of projects it is able to fund – literally from new generator designs to bespoke gloves. With funding available until the end of March we urge SMEs and start-ups across the East of England with a great idea to benefit the renewable energy supply chain, to get in touch.”
The SCORE programme delivers a £2.5 million funding investment through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). SCORE grants range from £2,500 up to a maximum of 30% of the project’s eligible costs, or £50,000, whichever is the lower, and are available to all East Anglian based SMEs in the renewable energy supply chain.