- On 14th December 2020
- In Ecology, Engineering, Research and Development
- By Izaak
We are excited to announce that some R&D grant funding we have applied for back in September has been granted to us earlier this month! The grant funding from the New Anglia Enterprise Partnership-Growth Through Innovation (GTI) fund, part-funded by the European regional development fund is designed to provide financial backing to local companies to pursue research and development projects. The key focus is on novel solutions to societal challenges such as climate change, something we feel strongly about at Exo.
We are developing new products for the ecological enhancement of scour protection of wind-turbine pylons and cable routes, known as Eco Reef units. The GTI project element will help fund and accelerate the project, including prototype development and scour testing through flume tank experiments. The grant is exciting as it will allow us to get prototypes made sooner and gather a broader dataset about them.
The products are unique as they are created from stabilised waste dredged sediment using GeoBlockTM technology, supporting the circular economy and reducing embodied carbon. Furthermore, the products will be specifically designed to form an eco-reef habitat through our Greening the GreyTM processes, providing fish shelters, voids, and crevices for individual smaller organisms such as crustaceans as well as for fish nurseries. Further, heterogeneous surface textures will provide suitable conditions for sessile species e.g., native flat oyster, enhancing biodiversity and biomass. Creating a ‘green marine haven’.
In contrast to conventional rock or ‘mattresses’ used to prevent scour around wind turbines, our eco-reef scour protection units meet stakeholder aspirations to protect and enhance the natural environment and reduce carbon emissions through the products whole life cycle.
Work will begin immediately to test our products in controlled laboratory conditions to determine hydromorphological dynamics in simulated marine environments, to better quantify their impact and behaviour in-situ before deployment.
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