OSS (Offshore Survival Systems)
How our Slipstream Programme is helping to launch a life-saving start-up
An unmissable opportunity
The offshore wind industry presents an unmissable opportunity for many UK businesses. Quaybridge works closely with smart innovators to drive change in the sector, helping companies to develop, market and deliver new products and services that improve the safety and efficiency of offshore wind projects. In doing so, Quaybridge is not only building up a network of mutually supportive UK businesses, it is helping the UK offshore wind industry meet one of its major commitments to the government – to ensure that 60% of the money spent on UK offshore wind farms goes to UK firms and to boost exports from offshore wind.
(Both images in this article are an artist's impression of the OSS unmanned semi-autonomous vessel.)
Saving time saves lives
Few businesses fit into the profile of Quaybridge’s Slipstream Programme better than OSS (Offshore Survival Systems). A pre-revenue start-up, OSS designs and builds Safety Net Systems, that save lives at sea using patent protected unmanned semi-autonomous vessels. Founder Sam Mayall had the idea after many years of personal experience working at sea. Having learned that time is the biggest factor in any emergency situation, especially saving life once someone has unintentionally entered the sea, he was looking for a way to reduce rescue response times.
Sam’s idea was to create unmanned semi-autonomous vessels that could be launched remotely from offshore structures (such as wind farms) greatly reducing the time it takes to rescue someone from the sea.
Safety backed by strong business case
The concept has huge potential to save lives, but what makes OSS especially viable as a solution is that it also has the ability to increase the efficiency of offshore wind projects. This makes the business case exceptionally strong.
Wind turbines have traditionally been laid out in a grid pattern. This makes it easier for manned vessels to carry out rescues but does not optimise generation from the turbines. If the wind farm is equipped with OSS’ semi-autonomous vessels, however, the turbines can be installed at locations within the site that will maximise their output.
Zoe Barnes, strategy manager at Quaybridge said, “What we really liked about OSS is how an effective life-saving system can also reduce wind farm costs. We believe this technology has the potential to be game-changer for safety on wind farms. Over the last year, we have seen OSS gain a huge amount of traction and make great progress. We are delighted to have been part of this journey and will continue to support them as they reach market readiness.”
A helping hand
When OSS accepted Quaybridge’s invitation to join the Slipstream Programme, Sam and his team already had ideas around how they might bring their concept of an autonomous lifeboat to market and their messaging. Quaybridge, however, really helped to focus and refine their offering and ensured OSS was targeting relevant messages to investors and the industry.
The Quaybridge team used their extensive experience in offshore wind to help OSS put the science behind the numbers to strengthen the OSS business case. Using real data, Quaybridge was able to predict how much added value OSS could bring to a project by enabling turbines to be sited at optimal locations rather than constrained within the traditional a grid format.
OSS can now demonstrate that its systems can help offshore wind farms increase yield by as much as 10% and reduce the LCOE (Levelised Cost of Energy) by around 4.5%. Quaybridge also identified ways that OSS could help wind farms improve operation and maintenance strategies.
By applying experience and data to OSS’s raw ideas, Quaybridge has helped to develop a compelling business case in addition to the all-important safety case, that will be hard for offshore wind developers and operators to ignore.
It’s not always what you know…
The Quaybridge team has helped OSS to prepare investor pitches, supporting its bids for Innovate UK Smart Grants and Scottish enterprise funding. It has also introduced Sam and his team to useful contacts within the industry.
“Zoe has been absolutely brilliant, and the whole of the team really,” said Sam. “They have given us access to real data, challenged us to consider a range of real, practical scenarios and allowed us to tap into the extensive knowledge of the Quaybridge team."
“The support has been absolutely invaluable. But perhaps the biggest benefit they have brought to OSS, is credibility. Having well-known and well-respected individuals in the industry talking about our product and introducing its benefits to key players has been really powerful. It has helped to accelerate and secure our route to market and bring the world’s first unmanned rescue vessel into offshore wind.”
Supporting and working with UK partners and suppliers is very much part of the Quaybridge business model and company ethos. If you’re interested in working with us – or you have a great start up business that needs our support, get in touch to preregister your interest in the 2021 Quaybridge Slipstream Programme.