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Mocean Energy raises funds for wave power technology

Co-founders: Cameron McNatt and Chris Retzler

Wave power specialist Mocean Energy has secured £612,000 in equity seed funding to accelerate the commercialisation of its energy technology.

The funding will unlock a further £250,000 from Innovate UK to advance the design of the Edinburgh startup’s Blue Star wave machine and drive its adoption in subsea oil and gas.

Mocean Energy’s equity funding round has been led by business angel syndicate Equity Gap and includes investment by Old College Capital, the University of Edinburgh’s in-house venture investment fund, and the Scottish Investment Bank.

Mocean managing director Cameron McNatt said: “Our goal is to produce a commercially-available wave machine which can deliver low carbon power for tie backs and future fleets of autonomous AUVs [autonomous underwater vehicles].

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“We are currently working with firms in the Scottish supply chain to build and deliver our first prototype, which will commence testing at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney next year. 

“The Innovate UK grant will enable us to advance our engineering design, including a new power take off, moorings and umbilical, and will deliver additional grant support to our project partners Newcastle University’s Electrical Power Research Group and  Rosyth-based electronics-specialists Supply Design.”

Mr McNatt added: “The equity funding is a tremendous boost and underscores our ambition to deliver a commercial product.”

Two full-time jobs will be added to the 12-strong team and there are three new non-executive directors.  

Fraser Lusty, director ar Equity Gap said:  “Mocean Energy has an exciting technology backed by some very sound science and ideally placed to help the oil and gas sector decarbonise its operations, with other worldwide applications to follow.

“This funding allows them to broaden their team and seek well-aligned commercial partners who can bring offshore experience to accelerate their ambitious plans.”

Earlier this year Mocean Energy announced a pilot project with the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC), oil major Chrysaor and subsea specialists EC-OG and Modus to study the potential to use their Blue Star prototype to power a subsea battery and a remote underwater vehicle.

Last year, Mocean Energy secured £3.3 million from Wave Energy Scotland to build and test a half-scale version of its technology at sea. The device is currently being completed at AJS Fabrication at Cowdenbeath in Fife. 

Vert secures Innovate funding

Edinburgh-based Vert Technologies has been awarded £60,000 from Innovate UK to fund the development of revolutionary technology to harvest wasted energy from the UK’s natural gas distribution network. 

The grant comes from Innovate UK’s £134m Sustainable Innovation fund aimed at helping SMEs respond to COVID-19.

It will be used to optimise the company’s disruptive Conical Rotary Compressor (CRC) technology for expander applications which can harvest energy from natural gas distribution systems.

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