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Ecological Engineering Company on the Rise

Loose cube dumps around an offshore structure. Photo by ARC Marine.
Loose cube dumps around an offshore structure. Photo by ARC Marine.

ARC Marine challenges the lack of nature inclusive design in existing subsea protection methods and have engineered eco-friendly Reef Cubes®. We met with them this week.

Several companies from the accelerator programme by Katapult Ocean were invited by NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster to present their concepts at our common HAVlunch this week.

We met with one of them; ARC Marine (UK) after the event. ARC Marine is disrupting the marine industry by accelerating reef creation in offshore construction projects which historically have caused damage and pollution.

The company has already received several awards for their work and was one of twelve companies to be selected for the accelerator programme, from a selection of 850 start-ups.

ARC Marine has its HQ at Brixham Environmental Laboratory, manufacturing facilities in Cornwall and a growing presence in Aberdeen to focus on oil and gas, aquaculture and offshore renewable opportunities in Scotland.

What are Reef Cubes?

ARC Marine began development of a new artificial reef unit called Reef-Cubes® in 2016, to provide a robust marine eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to traditional subsea deployable building materials. The work was stimulated by the founder's mutual desire to reverse the destruction from non-sustainable bottom trawling and provide a substitute product for the high CO2, toxic and plastic reinforced alternatives used in concrete based blocks.

They have recently identified major opportunities to address issues with scour around monopiles in the offshore renewable sector and to replace concrete mats widely using in the oil and gas sector, which often have to be recovered under OSPAR regulations due to their high toxicity and plastic content costing both industry and UK taxpayers many millions of pounds.

Accelerated reef creation through the widespread deployment of marine friendly Reef-Cube® will transform human marine construction activity from harmful interference to a positive sustainable legacy for future generations. They provide a low CO2, plastic free marine friendly building block that actually accelerates reef creation and rapidly enhances marine ecosystems. Reef-Cube® are a multipurpose structure which protect subsea infrastructure whilst boosting commercial and vulnerable species and prohibit damaging, unsustainable fishing practices such as scallop dredging and bottom trawling in agreed no-trawl zones.

Reef Cubes® can also reduce future decommissioning time and costs to operators.

Connecting with Our Cluster

During our meeting with ARC Marine the need for product verification surfaced and we immediately arranged a meeting with cluster partner DNV GL. Steve Wright of ARC Marine later commented that he was very grateful for the “collaborative and informative” meeting with Mads Arild Eidem, Head of Section, Material and Testing at DNV GL, arranged as short notice by Gisle Nondal.

This quick access and proactive face to face networking is exactly what a cluster needs to facilitate, Steve Wright, ARC Marine.

Partnership with Katapult Ocean

Katapult Ocean find, invest in and scale start-ups with positive impact on the ocean through the Katapult Ocean Accelerator programme that started in January 2019.

During the 12 weeks, the start-ups are pushed to develop their business models, work with pilot customers and focus on how their company can make a lasting impact.

GCE Ocean Technology contributes with mentoring and help the start-ups connect with the market and cluster members.

Contact Information

Bjarte Fagerås

Senior R&D Advisor

Bjarte Fagerås

Accelerator Program

The Katapult Ocean Accelerator Programme is a 3-month intense programme in Oslo with a focus on growth, investor readiness, leadership development, exponential tech, and introductions to the Norwegian and global ocean tech ecosystem.

The sectors covered are transportation, ocean health, harvesting, energy and new frontiers. Applications for the third round of the accelerator programme is now open.

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