Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS



Project ID: 697172

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MODULAR INNODRIVE (MODULAR INNODRIVE Powered Reel Drive in maritime environment)

Reporting period: 2015-10-01 to 2016-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

INNOVO Ltd. is an engineering company founded in October 2012, based in Aberdeen (UK), which provides high-tech equipments for the oil & gas, marine & renewable industries, from North Sea to Mediterranean, up to Caspian basin (former CSI republics) and Middle East. Since its establishment, the management has focused on developing proprietary engineering solutions, succeeding in the development of a significant portfolio of products for the cable-laying market and has established itself as a small yet reputable contractor in the market of the specialised cable-laying equipments.
The increasing need for underwater physical interconnections for IT and energy networks is considered one of the greatest challenges for a reliable and effective connectivity and efficient use of world resources. Due to the above mentioned needs expressed by markets – such as telecommunications, interconnectors, offshore wind farms and oil & gas – maritime cable laying and retrieval equipments are constantly progressing in terms of capacity, size and power.
Maritime development projects are characterised by the need for case-by-case solutions. The range of operations nowadays performed on-board is remarkably vast, reason for which operational flexibility, experienced personnel and adequate equipments are key factors in this industry. These projects require the use of control lines and umbilicals (i.e. controls & data acquisition, process and status monitoring, etc), power cables (electrical and hydraulic), and small diameter flexible pipes, all installed by using cable-laying equipment such as the Powered Reel Drive (PRD).
Currently, INNOVO Ltd. and competitors are offering PRD equipments that do not allow to operate with an extended range of reels, in terms of diameters and weights, even though in some cases dedicated change-over extensions or additional equipments are provided. Operational costs, in addition to a considerable risk for customers and direct users, are therefore not mitigated enough.
The MODULAR INNODRIVE represents a technological breakthrough in the maritime cable-laying industry because it surpasses the PRD equipments currently available in the market – in terms of safety, operational flexibility, efficiency, efficacy and environmental impact – by reducing operational times.
INNOVO Ltd. aims at becoming one of the most relevant players in this field of activity in EU in the medium run. The competitive scenario is characterized by a lack of competitors which have to meet the raise in needs of an increasing amount of investors.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Phase 1 was entirely devoted to the preparation of a feasibility study focused on verifying the technological/practical as well as the economic & financial viability of the proposed innovative solution, the output of which is a business & financial plan demonstrating the high potential competitiveness and growth of MODULAR INNODRIVE.
INNOVO Ltd. has firstly performed a market analysis in order to evaluate the market dimension – and the new product’s potential implementation in different industries, such as oil & gas, offshore wind farm, interconnectors and telecommunications – and to trace the competitive landscape of cable-laying industry. At the same time, a technical feasibility analysis of MODULAR INNODRIVE has been developed in order to refine the new product to fulfil the modular requirements. The aforesaid analysis includes the Risks Assessment on entire new product’s life-cycle (LCA). Also IPR and regulatory issues have been taken into account in order to guarantee INNOVO Ltd. freedom to operate.
The work described above was preparatory to the formulation of a strategy for industrialisation and commercialisation of the new product.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Based on tests that have been carried out during Phase 1 in Italy, the MODULAR INNODRIVE, compared to standard PRD systems, guarantees a number of visible and measurable advantages:
• Safety: standard PRD systems need the equipment structure and spacers to be moved on the deck using the ship’s crane and personnel must stay in proximity of suspended heavy structures during the operations, hence the risk of injuries. The movements of the MODULAR INNODRIVE, on the other hand, are controlled remotely, which implicitly improves the safety at the workplace;
• Operational and ship downtime: the MODULAR INNODRIVE allows the operations to be completed in a matter of minutes, whereas changing the height configuration in standard PRD systems can take as long as a day. This reduces the operational time and consequently the ship downtime (stand by);
• Space on quay and deck: space is usually an issue on the quay and on the ship’s deck. Avoiding the mobilisation of cumbersome elements such as the spacers, the modular technology allows space to be saved, keeping the working area tidy and safer;
• Environmental impact: drastically reducing operational time, ship downtime is reduced as well. Given the size and number of cable-laying vessels operating in the EU and worldwide, their CO2 emissions during stand by phases is not negligible. Using the modular technology, the environmental impact will be reduced along with the saved ship downtime;
• Costs: ship downtime is very expensive, over 300.000 €/day in some cases. Reducing the operational and downtime, will lead to sensible operational costs savings. Previously economically unfeasible projects could now become feasible, highlighting the efficiency and efficacy the new modular approach.

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