A number of South East marine companies featured amongst the winners of the Spirit of Innovation Awards at this year’s Seawork exhibition and conference.
Overall winners of the Spirit of Innovation Award were Houlder Ltd for their wind Turbine Access System which has been jointly developed with Southampton based BMT Nigel Gee. The lightweight motion compensated gangway provides safe and reliable access from workboats and is already strongly supported by developers and vessel operators in recognition of both the significant safety improvement and increased maintenance window it provides from workboats in rougher weather. The product has already featured in several vessel designs, increasing the significant wave height window from 1.5m to 2.0m for personnel transfer.
Isle of Wight based GRP Laminates, who are well known to MSE through their participation in the SMARTA project, won the Diving & Underwater Technology category for the MSV Explorer sub-surface viewing craft which sits 1.2m below the ocean surface and offers a clear, unobstructed view of the undersea environment. In addition to the obvious leisure and tourist applications the MSV Explorer also provides commercial opportunities for filming and sub-surface survey and security inspection of floating structures and vessels.
Wave Craft UK from Eastleigh in Hampshire won the Marine Civil Engineering & Construction category with its Waveblade, the world’s first hand held power barnacle remover. The Waveblade is a small and light hand held power tool specifically designed to effortlessly remove biofouling, including barnacles and mussel deposits on GRP, steel and wooden hulls, concrete and steel structures and propellers and drives. The patented technology enables the oscillating head to deliver a high frequency resonance through the blade into the encrusted substrate. The company also launched the Waveblade Plus at Seawork, a cordless more powerful variant that ensures divers can maintain hulls and marine structures at greater depths.
Ringwood based Echopilot were winners of the Safety & Training category with their 2D forward looking sonar which is the culmination of 19 years of research and manufacture of forward looking sonars.