Marine-i, the EU funded programme set up to boost marine innovation in Cornwall, has made a grant award to The Rock Pool Project. This organisation is led by marine ecology specialists and has a mission to raise awareness of the wide variety of species that inhabit rock pools and their importance to the marine ecosystem.
The funding from Marine-i has been used to carry out initial development work for an app which would be used by students and by the general public to gather valuable data on rock pool wildlife, as The Rock Pool Project’s Director, Dr Ben Holt, explains:
“This type of citizen involvement in the gathering of data is a fast-growing trend in wildlife research. Our aim is to create a totally new kind of app which will enable the public to identify a wide range of marine species and record the specific locations in which they were found. Over time, this information will build into a unique new database about these precious species.
“In addition, this app will provide a fantastic learning tool for outdoor education and for school projects and would attract considerable interest from commercial partners.
Matt Hodson, of the Marine-i team, says: “We were delighted to be able to support this highly innovative project. Not only would it bring benefits in terms of education and employment in Cornwall, it also has the potential to be rolled out across the UK and eventually to international markets.”
Marine-i have supported the project with a Rapid Innovation Grant. These are ‘easy access’ 100% grants of up to £2,000 which can be used to purchase products or services that help a business take its innovation to the next level. The Rock Pool Project has used the grant from Marine-i to fund a scoping session with a technology consultancy and map out their business plan.
Dr Holt adds: “The Rapid Innovation grant has really helped us accelerate our project and move it on to the next stage, aiming for launch in Summer 2019.”
Further information about The Rock Pool Project can be found at www.therockpoolproject.co.uk
Businesses seeking support from the Marine-i project can register their interest at www.marine-i.co.uk