Synaptec, a firm owned by the University of Strathclyde, has been awarded grant funding of £370,000 to move into the subsea and green energy industries. The grant was provided by a panel that included the university itself, the Scottish Investment Bank, the Equity Gap syndicate and the Scottish Enterprise.
The MD and founder of Synaptec, Doctor Philip Orr, said that the company existed to develop network management capabilities, offering a range of benefits to operators and broader society for network management and maintenance, including lower costs, better energy security of supply and fewer damaging greenhouse gas emissions.
He added that Synaptec's approach and technology capabilities had the potential to deliver similar benefits for other emerging markets, including subsea systems and renewable energy - both of which could greatly benefit from measures to improve network resilience and efficiency.
The firm has innovated with a new kind of advanced fibre optic which can slash operating costs and downtime of electrical power networks, including renewable energy networks. This investment will help the company to take advantage of these new opportunities to move into the green energy space.
Synaptec was formed in 2014 by the university's own Institute for Energy and the Environment. It demonstrates clearly how academic resources can be partnered effectively with commercial entities to bring fresh innovations to the green energy space and further leverage the broader investment in renewable energy technologies.
Many of these technologies, including offshore wind, are hampered by electrical network efficiencies and levels of energy transmission loss over long distances. Better network management, infrastructure, reliability and efficiency would help ensure that more of the green energy the UK is producing could actually be transmitted for use, with less being lost during the energy transfer and transportation process.