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Marine-i supports pioneering 3D printing innovation for floating offshore wind

Expert support from Marine-i is helping 3D printing specialist J-Supplied to develop large scale technology to produce bespoke parts for the floating offshore wind industry, such as custom-designed turbine blades. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i  aims to help the marine tech sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through harnessing the full potential of research and innovation.

From its base in Cornwall, J-Supplied has established a strong reputation as a provider of 3D printing machines and manufacturer of 3D-printed products. The emergence of floating offshore wind  as a major strategic growth area for the marine tech industry in south west England has prompted the company to diversify into this area, as their Managing Director, Martin Jewell, explains:

“The ability to print large scale, low volume products is currently restricted by the commercially available equipment on the market. Typically, these can only manufacture products up to a 3m x 1m footprint. We identified the offshore renewable energy sector as the focus for a major innovation project to address this issue. Our vision is to have ‘warehouse size’ gantries that would enable a 5 axis robotic 3D Printer to produce very large products, such as turbine blades. This would break completely new ground for our industry.”

Wind Turbine Cornwall

Marine-i, is providing a comprehensive package of RD&I support which includes market analysis by Marine-i partner, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, highlighting the most important commercial opportunities for the technology in floating offshore wind, and bespoke research by the University of Plymouth Digital Fabrication Laboratory, to develop processes to optimise this new technology.      

Professor Lars Johanning of University of Exeter, lead partner for Marine-i, says: “J-Supplied should be applauded for the scale and ambition of their thinking. As well as being a major commercial opportunity for their business, this new process would have huge benefits for the global floating offshore wind industry.”  

On 10th February, a special online workshop will be taking place, examining how 3D printing may be used in the production of wind turbine blades. There will be an opportunity to hear from leading experts  and to help shape a future transnational innovative project in this field. Delegates can register for this free event by visiting: www.marine-i.co.uk/events   

Cornwall’s manufacturing, engineering and technology clusters are rapidly expanding across the region, and it’s thanks to innovative new workspaces like the Enterprise Space for Advanced Engineering (ESAM).

As the first phase of the new Carluddon Technology Park in St Austell, ESAM is a space designed to encourage innovation in manufacturing, engineering, and low carbon environmental goods and services, and support collaboration between organisations operating in those industries.

But, the space is being used for far more than its name suggests. While it’s designed with engineering-focused sectors in mind, it’s an adaptable workspace for any type of business – whether you’re a timepiece repairer or a large-scale branding and merchandise firm.

Renewed innovation on historic land

With 32 high-quality and adaptable business units – including offices, workshops, light industrial units, and hot desking facilities – ESAM’s workspaces can be flexed to your businesses needs.

ESAM’s management designed the building as a space to explore ideas, test products, and bring concepts to life. Its shared areas, breakout spaces, bookable meeting rooms and audio-visual conferencing facilities make it an ideal space for collaboration between teams, while it’s affordable hot desking provides options for ambitious entrepreneurs.

And for businesses looking to develop prototypes and establish small-scale manufacturing productions, ESAM’s industrial units are an ideal fit. The building’s site even has opportunity for businesses to expand their operations and build external units as they grow.

The facilities and support to accelerate growth

It’s not just the workspaces that makes ESAM such a compelling option for businesses – it also has all the key facilities and services business leaders need to succeed. With on-site car parking and electric vehicle charging for occupiers and visitors, superfast fibre broadband, and secure 24-hour access, the building has everything you’d expect from a modern workspace. And being conveniently located next to the A3/A391, it remains connected to the rest of the region and beyond.

The workspace also hosts dedicated support services set up to help businesses thrive at ESAM. The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Hub has an on-site office to help occupiers at ESAM find funding opportunities, export to the rest of the U.K and Europe, and strategically grow their businesses.

And like all buildings funded by the European Regional Development Fund, ESAM is listed as excellent under BREEAM standards due to its natural air conditioning, solar power, and low-carbon energy ratings – so your business can ensure minimal environmental impact.

It’s not just a compelling place to work either. ESAM is at the heart of the West Carclaze Garden Village, an exciting new community built on top of a history china clay mining site. It will share the space with an eco-town of 5,000 homes, complete with two solar farms, key facilities like a community centre and a 420-place primary school, and more than 500 acres of green space.

St Austell Land

A scalable workspace solution for a global brand

ESAM has been the perfect place for branding and merchandising company Fluid Branding to expand its team. With offices spread across the world in London, Amsterdam, China, and other locations, ESAM offered an ideal opportunity to establish Fluid Branding’s Cornwall office.

The company’s 20% year-on-year growth meant it needed an easily scalable workspace option, with all the facilities it necessary for serving its global customer base. ESAM’s industrial workshops and office units made it a suitable place to host the company’s design, creative, sales, and tech teams all under one roof – and the business support on-site has been critical to Fluid’s continued success.

“We are delighted that we reaffirmed our commitment to Cornwall and the St Austell Area – where it all started for us – by investing in this important move to our new headquarters at ESAM,” says Miles Lovegrove, Managing Director of Fluid Branding . “We gained our B Corporation certification in 2019, so the building’s modern design, energy efficiency and eco credentials reflect our brand values.  It’s a fantastic landmark building in an inspirational location which has allowed us to grow, think and to really scale up our plans for 2021”

Explore ESAM for yourself

If you think your business could find success at ESAM, or if you’re just looking to find out more about the workspace, visit the website or get in touch with Choose Cornwall at info@choosecornwall.co.uk.

And if you’d like to explore more innovative workspaces in Cornwall, speak to our team today – we’d love to help you find your perfect location.


Through the Transforming Cities Fund Workplace Travel Grants scheme funded by the Department for Transport, Plymouth City Council are offering match-funded capital grants of up to £25,000 per business in the Plymouth city region.

This opportunity is for businesses within the Plymouth city region whose workforce commutes to and from Plymouth, or where the company operates within Plymouth, as well as the wider city region.

Projects which could be funded through the grants include secure cycle parking, pool bikes, workplace shower facilities or electric vehicle charging points. However, bids aren’t limited to these ideas and the Council are keen to hear innovative proposals to tackle issues specific to a company.

Full details can be found at www.plymouth.gov.uk/workplacetravelgrants. Grant applications can be submitted from Monday 26th October and the closing date for applications for the 2020/21 programme is Friday 15th January 2021.

All schemes funded this financial year must be delivered by mid-March but Plymouth City Council hope to be able to offer Workplace Travel Grants next year as well and information about the 2021/22 grants will be published on the website once available.

Feritech has announced that it is building a new, state of the art facility just outside Falmouth in Cornwall. Covering an area of 3.5 acres, the new site received planning approval this week. It will greatly increase Feritech‘s manufacturing capabilities and the services offered to both local customers and the company’s established global client base.

Founded in 2012, Feritech designs and builds subsea engineering solutions primarily for the marine geotechnical sector. All their products are designed, manufactured and tested at their own facilities. Over 90% of the company’s products and services are exported, with clients in more than 40 different countries.

Co-founder and Managing Director, Rob Ferris, explains:

“This new facility is a major step forward for our business. The development of Floating Offshore Wind is a fast growing regional and global opportunity and we are ramping up our capacity, partly so we can help accelerate development of this vital new industry. The new facility will be capable of handling up to 20 ton fabrications and is complemented with a new machining hall which can produce all manner of precision machined parts. Feritech’s design, electrical, electronic and hydraulic capabilities will also be expanded in line with the increased subcontract projects that we expect to fulfil.

“Research and development within the offshore renewable energy sector will always be a primary operation of the company and this facility will allow Feritech to undertake new challenges within this sector, providing solutions for customers quickly, while also tightly controlling the quality of the process from start to finish and all under one roof.”

Steve Jermy, CEO of Wave Hub Ltd, which is leading the South West Floating Offshore Wind Accelerator Project, says:

“The South West of the UK is set to become a world leader in floating offshore wind (FLOW). This exciting new development by Feritech exemplifies how innovative and forward looking businesses are rising to the challenge and will help to fast track the region’s capacity to build out large scale wind farms in the Celtic Sea from 2025 onwards.”

Rob Ferris adds:

“The new building has also been designed to prove that our industry can work in harmony with the environment. The facility will harvest its own water, use ground source to heat the offices, and a solar roof with power storage to generate its own electricity. The site will have over 5,000 trees planted and use a pond to capture all the surface run off from the site. This will act as a heat store and provide vital new habitats for wildlife.”

To find out more about Feritech visit www.feritech.com.

Wind turbine
Marine-i supports pioneering 3D printing innovation for floating offshore wind

Expert support from Marine-i is helping 3D printing specialist J-Supplied to develop large scale technology to produce bespoke parts for the floating offshore wind industry, such as custom-designed turbine blades. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i  aims to help the marine tech sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through […]

ESAM 1
Workspace spotlight: Enterprise Space for Advanced Engineering (ESAM)

Cornwall’s manufacturing, engineering and technology clusters are rapidly expanding across the region, and it’s thanks to innovative new workspaces like the Enterprise Space for Advanced Engineering (ESAM). As the first phase of the new Carluddon Technology Park in St Austell, ESAM is a space designed to encourage innovation in manufacturing, engineering, and low carbon environmental […]

Transforming Cities Fund Workplace Travel Grant Opportunity

Through the Transforming Cities Fund Workplace Travel Grants scheme funded by the Department for Transport, Plymouth City Council are offering match-funded capital grants of up to £25,000 per business in the Plymouth city region. This opportunity is for businesses within the Plymouth city region whose workforce commutes to and from Plymouth, or where the company […]

Feritech to open major new production facility in 2021

Feritech has announced that it is building a new, state of the art facility just outside Falmouth in Cornwall. Covering an area of 3.5 acres, the new site received planning approval this week. It will greatly increase Feritech‘s manufacturing capabilities and the services offered to both local customers and the company’s established global client base. […]

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