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FOCUS ON CORNWALL


SUPPORTING CORNWALL AND SCILLY’S MARINE BUSINESSES


Propel Cornwall is Cornwall Marine Network’s project which helps small and medium marine businesses become more competitive and addresses issues preventing their growth.


MENTORING AND GRANT SUPPORT


Propel provides mentoring and grant support to marine businesses to improve areas of their business activity, which include: measuring and improving productivity, implementing new systems and products, improving marketing and digital knowledge and insights, increasing quality, improving supplier management, managing change, growing outputs and increasing staff and skills. Sam Winters – Marine Innovation Mentor with Propel Cornwall commented: “We’re excited to support Cornwall’s marine businesses. We work closely with owner managers to identify which area(s) of their business are priority for improvement, then use our expertise to help them find solutions. If we need to purchase specialist help there is grant support available. This is an exciting opportunity to help our marine businesses grow.” Paul Wickes MBE - CEO of Cornwall Marine Network added: “As a County we are rightly proud of our marine heritage with our expertise and processes being adopted in many businesses around the globe and as a sector, we still continue to grow. Cornwall remains home to some of the most innovative, cutting edge and forward thinking marine businesses and Propel from CMN provides services and expertise that ensure we maintain this momentum of growth to the benefit of the local marine sector and the wider Cornish economy.”


EUROPEAN INVESTMENT


Julian German, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economy enthused: “Cornwall’s marine sector is hugely important and I’m really pleased we have secured this European investment to support growth and productivity. Propel Cornwall further enhances the sector as it follows the recent Marine


Hub announcement which draws together Cornwall’s marine expertise.” Propel Cornwall is an initiative by


Cornwall Marine Network and is part- funded by the European Regional Development Fund.


GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR CORNISH MARINE SECTOR – BLUETECH CLUSTER ALLIANCE


Cornwall Marine Network (CMN) has joined a new United States led global coalition called the BlueTech Cluster Alliance (BTCA). The BTCA aims to foster innovation and economic development in the maritime industry across the world and it could bring fresh opportunities to Cornish marine businesses in the future. CMN, the business support organisation for the Cornish marine sector, has driven this initiative forward in partnership with three other UK marine organisations. The partnership has been named Blue Growth UK. “We’re very excited to have joined the BlueTech Cluster Alliance. It will bring new relationships and open doors for our membership of Cornish marine businesses,” commented Paul Wickes, CEO of Cornwall Marine Network. “Partnering with Marine South East, Mersey Maritime and Humber Marine Network to form Blue Growth UK has given us greater clout and helped us


secure chartered membership of the BTCA. It is an essential strategy for a post-Brexit Cornwall.”


BTCA MEMBERS


Currently there are seven members of the BTCA representing marine technology clusters in seven countries, including: the UK, Canada, France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the United States. Michael Jones, president of U.S. member, The Maritime Alliance who are based in San Diego added: “We are stronger and can get more accomplished by collaborating. The BTCA will promote BlueTech cluster outreach and our success will depend on cross-cluster collaboration that develops.


AN IMPORTANT STEP FORWARD


“Since 2005 CMN has secured more than £20 million of investment for the Cornish Marine industry, it’s assisted more than 3,000 people into employment and has had an estimated £200 million beneficial impact on Cornwall’s economy. Strategically speaking, becoming a member of the BlueTech Cluster Alliance is the next big step for us,” concluded Paul Wickes.


Cornwall Marine Network www.wavetidalenergynetwork.co.uk PAGE 19


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