One of the key players in Cornwall’s thriving Marinetech sector is Richard Argall, Managing Director of James Fisher Marine Services’ Projects Division. We visited him at his office in Falmouth to capture his thoughts on how Cornwall’s marine industry has evolved and what the future holds for his rapidly expanding business.
“I started Mojo Maritime in 2008 with my now business partner Richard Parkinson when the marine renewables sector was very young. We saw an opportunity to combine my engineering background with his master mariner expertise and apply it to marine renewables, so that’s what we did.”
Mojo Maritime began working on a number of projects across the renewables spectrum and the team rapidly expanded to 30 employees. “Although the company expanded quickly, we felt like we had hit a glass ceiling in terms of resources and capacity and were unable to go for larger contracts that we wanted to deliver on. In 2015 we made the decision to become part of James Fisher Service as part of its acquisition and diversification strategy. We provided a platform to enable the company [James Fisher Services] to enter into the renewables sector, and are subsequently leading its marine services division.” James Fisher Services is a global player in marine services worth over £450m. The collaboration and acquisition of Cornwall based Mojo Maritime is just one example of the expertise and knowledge operating in the region. Most of the company’s clients are based outside of Cornwall and the UK, but come to Mojo Maritime for its expertise.
“In terms of our workforce, we have an extremely well educated, sharp team with around 40 people here in Falmouth. There’s a mix of master mariners, engineers and various technical people so the office is a real melting pot of knowledge and skill.”Richard Argall, Mojo Maritime
Businesses like Mojo Maritime are in abundance in Cornwall, applying knowledge and skills to projects for clients around the world. The region’s geography and culture forged a strong relationship with the marine and in recent years investment in infrastructure and technology has allowed the industry to continue to progress and flourish.
“Cornwall is the right place to be for marine developers because it has excellent resources, a huge amount of coastline grid capacity and connection. For developers it’s the ease of access to test sites like Fab Test and Wave Hub, as well as excellent fabrication facilities. We have a great supply chain here for mechanical engineering and steel fabrication, and because of our ship building and marine leisure there are a lot of other companies here and more broadly there’s a lot of support here both private and public.”
From trading china clay and tin to exporting world class expertise in marine technology, Cornwall’s marine sector has evolved beyond recognition and utilises some of the best resources in the world. The region is primed for innovative and forward thinking businesses looking to expand or set up operations – perhaps you’re one of them?
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