GRAFMARINE is fostering global partnerships and creating innovative solutions to drive the marine sector’s circular economy.
The Anglesey and Manchester-based business has secured contracts for international shipping companies to trial its ground-breaking Nanodeck technology, an AI solar tile management system which can be attached to any flat surface to capture, store, and remotely manage clean energy.
Director and Founder Martin Leigh has also been in discussions with world-leading organisations to forge new relationships focused on sustainability in the marine sector, driving their long-term campaign for ‘fully recyclable renewable energy’.
It comes as Grafmarine was shortlisted for the Technology and Innovation Award at this year’s Mersey Maritime Industry Awards having also been a finalist in the Clean Maritime Energy Award category of the recent National Maritime SME Awards, held in London.
“To have been nominated for two such prestigious awards is a great honour, it builds confidence and demonstrates that we are moving in the right direction,” said Martin.
“The feedback we have had to this point has been very positive, the sector has been hugely supportive and the conversations we are having centre on sustainability, not just through our technology but as an industry working to create a lasting circular economy for generations to come.”
He added: “Our target is to become one of the first fully recycled renewable energy products before 2030.
“To achieve that we are looking to build new partnerships in our sustainability supply network. Grafmarine has already worked with the SMI Hub at Henry Royce Institute, looking at the full life cycle of our marine plastics, and we are now including the use of ocean plastic into our next prototype test before the end of 2023.”
The team has also been working in collaboration with The Circular Revolution – an academic research group specialising in the Circular Economy with Swansea and Exeter universities and Powys-based Riversimple – to hone its circular business model and identify further opportunities. The findings will be presented at an event in Cardiff later this year.
Grafmarine Commercial Director Nigel Marc Roberts said the drive towards net zero and lowering – and eventually eradicating – the company’s carbon footprint goes hand in hand with further development of its Nanodeck technology.
“There are so many avenues we can pursue, and so many ventures and projects at home and overseas we are engaged with,” he said.
“From the recycling of old fishing nets and developing new photovoltaics (PV) with partners in a bid to eliminate toxic waste, to the implementation of alternative ‘green’ materials, we will continue to engage with organisations across the world to make that happen while further developing our product, itself a game-changer for clean energy generation in the marine sector.”
Martin added: “It’s an exciting time for Grafmarine, we are working on a new, larger solar tile prototype that will be unveiled next year and are in discussions to manufacture in Wales from 2025 onwards.
“That’s our vision, things are progressing, and we are very determined to make it happen.”