A Welsh company which specialises in capturing the potential of wave energy and reducing the current cost associated with this process has been announced as the first company to benefit from new Welsh Government innovation funding.
Last week the First Minister announced a Â£115million package of support to boost innovation in Wales, leading to the creation of hundreds of new products and high quality jobs.
Marine Power Systems (LTD), based in Swansea, was formed to develop the WaveSub, a unique, patented device which captures the energy potential of ocean waves and has the potential to reduce the costs associated with this method of energy generation.
The company is one of the first to benefit from the Welsh Government funding, receiving almost Â£225,000 to develop the revolutionary WaveSub technology and produce a prototype which will be critical to the progress of the project.
The prototype will be tested in Milford Haven and the results will inform the development of a full-scale version of the device.
The funding announcement is made as business, entrepreneurs and investors gather in Cardiff for the free Venturefest Wales event, where a mix of speakers, workshops and panel debates will motivate delegates to share ideas, make connections and foster new business opportunities
Speaking ahead of her address to Venturefest Wales, the Economy Minister, Edwina Hart said:
âWe are a pro-business government with a record for nurturing Welsh companies and their ideas for business development. This package of funding is designed to boost innovative companies, remove financial barriers to creativity and support the commercialisation of new ideas, which in turn will create highly skilled jobs and opportunities for the whole country.
âIâm pleased to announce Marine Power Systems (LTD) as one of the first beneficiaries of our new innovation funding. This support has allowed them to create a prototype, which is critical to mitigating risks and allowing the further development of the product, which ultimately allows the company to move on to commercial sales. Wave energy has a huge potential as a source of renewable energy and Iâm encouraged that one of our first projects is supporting advancement in this field.â
Dr Gareth Stockman, Managing Director of Marine Power Systems, said:
âThe Welsh Government has played an integral role in supporting the development of Marine Power Systemsâ WaveSub device and we are very grateful to be one of the first companies identified to receive this innovation funding. The results of our work to date have proven that the WaveSub solves the key challenges that face wave energy devices and we feel MPS is one of the key companies leading the way in terms of technological advancements in harnessing this abundant form of energy.
âWe are delighted that there is now increased recognition and understanding of the revolutionary prospects of the device we have developed. The WaveSub is generating global interest around our device, as the WaveSub can harness the energy in a wide range of waves, in almost any offshore environment using the unique technology we have developed.
âWe look forward to working towards the next stages of the project to reach a full scale version of the device.â
With support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and private sector investment, the two innovation projects: SMART Cymru and SMART Expertise will work alongside the current SMART Innovation Programme.
Together they form an overall package of support for Welsh businesses and academic establishments, enabling them to bid collaboratively for research and development funding and access information and advice from the Welsh Government to bring new ideas to the market.