Shetland-based Ocean Kinetics is leading a project to develop a new clean energy system for use in the fish farming sector.
The collaborative research and development initiative, which has won backing of up to £129,428 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), is expected to create four jobs in Argyll.
The aim of the year-long project is to develop a power storage system for fish farm sites, recharged from renewable energy at the shore, via a lightweight subsea cable.
Ocean Kinetics is working with Edinburgh-based technology development business Stortera and MMG Welding, which provides engineering design, fabrication and installation services to the salmon industry in north-west Ireland.
Company has opened new base in Argyll
The Shetland firm has expanded into Argyll and established a base at Malin House, on the European Marine Science Park (EMSP), near Oban.
HIE is backing the project as part of its role as a delivery partner in the multi-million pound Co-Innovate initiative, which is supported by the European Union’s Interreg VA Programme.
The scheme supports innovation and cross-border research and development projects in parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
John Henderson, managing director of Ocean Kinetics, which also has a base in Aberdeen, said: “Aquaculture is an important and growing sector for us and like other industries, it must move away from fossil fuels.
“Key to this will be commercially viable clean power systems. Co-Innovate has allowed us to accelerate our plans to establish a base in Argyll.
“Malin House provides co-location with a number of innovative marine businesses, so we are excited to see what possibilities that will bring.
“Critically, we are executing this focused research and development project in a collaborative fashion, which is essential to solving big problems.”
System will help cut costs and emissions
Vicki Hazley, Co-Innovate programme manager at HIE, said the project would help address the need for a “more efficient and responsive” means of using renewable energy in fish farming.
She continued: “As well as reducing operating costs, it has potential to lead to significant reductions in carbon emissions, helping the industry’s contribution to net-zero.
“We are very pleased to be able to provide funding and look forward to seeing the product move towards commercialisation.”
Morag Goodfellow, HIE’s area manager in Argyll and the Islands, added: “Ocean Kinetics’ expansion into Argyll further strengthens the growing marine innovation cluster at the EMSP, where they will be working alongside other innovation businesses involved in the blue economy.
“This is good news for the company, for the EMSP and for Argyll.”
It is the second collaborative research and development project led by a Highlands and Islands company under the Co-Innovate programme.