Investing in ACUA Ocean—ocean data collection vessels


Investing in ACUA Ocean—ocean data collection vessels

Words Founders Factory

July 25th 2023 / 3 min read

The problem

Around 80% of the ocean remains unexplored, meaning we know surprisingly little about what goes on below the waves. And yet ocean data is crucial to so many industries, from offshore energy production to coastal monitoring and climate research. 

So why is ocean data capture so difficult? 

One reason is its size—oceans cover 70% of the planet, making it a vast and complex environment to monitor. 

Secondly, cost. Collecting ocean data requires sophisticated equipment, which can be expensive to operate and maintain. Existing ocean data capture uses large diesel vessels and personnel, adding to the cost as well as excessive emissions. 

Finally, data is fragmented across multiple various sources and is not standardised, making it difficult to understand and analyse effectively. 

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The solution

ACUA Ocean is developing a fleet of unmanned hydrogen-powered ocean surface vessels for collecting ocean data. These vessels will be able to last between 40 to 60 days offshore, and with 24 hour monitoring, turnaround time for equipment replacement is vastly reduced. 

ACUA Ocean vessels will be fitted with advanced sensors to collect data on different ocean parameters according to the main needs of their four primary customer groups:

  • Environmental and ocean health (research, science and government) 

  • Offshore infrastructure surveys and monitoring (particularly wind energy farms)

  • Defence (anti-submarine warfare monitoring)

  • Security (monitoring for illegal fishing, drug smuggling & human trafficking)

These hydrogen powered vessels will reduce operational CO2 emissions by up to 99.1% and offer reduced maintenance and increased reliability. Moreover, by having lower refuelling requirements compared to existing manned solutions, these vessels have increased range, speed, and endurance.

The team

Neil Tinmouth (CEO & Co-Founder)

Neil brings years of experience in the maritime and defence industries to ACUA Ocean. He is a geophysicist, Ocean Discovery XPrize 2019 winner and was part of the establishing committee of the NGO, Map the Gaps. Prior to this, he was a project engineer at Van Oord, a civil engineering firm specialising in maritime engineering and offshore projects. He also holds an MBA from the University of Stellenbosch. 

Mike Tinmouth (COO & Co-Founder)

Mike has a background in advising high-growth tech startups, with a focus on helping Govtech startups go-to-market and scale. He has spent the last four years an innovation mentor to the Royal Navy and RAF on the Percy Hobart Fellowship. He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree with a major in Maritime Law and an MSc in Risk and Security Management.

Why we’re excited to invest

Olivia Brooks, investor at Founders Factory, says: “ACUA Ocean is helping solve a huge problem around the collection of ocean data—a challenge that has far-reaching implications. With multiple use cases, ACUA Ocean has the potential to be the most comprehensive data capture solution on the market. They are building at a pivotal time, with demand for offshore energy booming and a growing awareness around marine protection. We have great conviction in Neil, Mike, and the team, who bring extensive operational experience and sector knowledge, and look forward to working with them going forwards.”

What ACUA Ocean are looking to get out of the programme

We are excited to embark on an exciting journey with Blue Action Accelerator and this new community of ocean technologists who are united in our mission to create scalable and sustainable ocean solutions. Our focus through the programme includes:

  • Working with the team in Bahamas on project scoping and delivery

  • Support refining our go to market strategy

  • Accelerating our investment and fundraising

  • Working with our talented scientists and engineers to form a world-class team

Building in the ocean and coastal health space?

Submit your application for our Blue Action Accelerator

Apply here
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