A former health and safety manager for the oil and gas industry has designed an innovative new garment aimed at saving the lives of offshore workers in the event of an accident at sea.
Simon Lamont, from Dundee, founded his company Iron Ocean after coming up with the idea for the Centurion 3, a garment specially engineered to produce immediate heat when submerged in extreme cold water.
The concept was heavily influenced by the 2009 fatal Super Puma crash where 16 people lost their lives in the North Sea and working with Heriot-Watt University’s School of Textile Design and Chemistry, the final Centurion 3 prototype is well underway.
Simon said: “We are on target to have a fully offshore certified prototype ready for commercialisation in 2018. We have been completely blown away by the support we have received from Business Gateway in Dundee. Since I first sat down with my adviser Michelle and told her my idea she was my guide throughout the business plan development as well as assisting us with grant funding applications. I meet with her almost weekly to discuss the business which is shaping the development and successful outcome of Iron Ocean.”
Simon has since received the elite Enterprise Fellowship from the esteemed Royal Society of Edinburgh a highly competitive national entrepreneurship programme, specifically designed to accelerate entrepreneurs. He has also competed and won various national business competitions and was proud to be a people’s choice finalist in Pitch at the Palace 2017 with HRH the Duke of York.
Iron Ocean has gained significant funding support from the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) after they carried out a full product validation which was extremely well received by their panel of industry experts,
Simon added: “The helicopter crash in 2009 left so many of us stunned and when I discovered that the garments worn below the survival suit were insufficient when dealing with cold shock I set to work instantly designing and developing a new product to remedy this.
“In my previous job I managed safety protocols and lead incident and accident investigations and worked with some fantastic people but I’m really enjoying being in full creative control of everything we do at Iron Ocean. More importantly however, our design can save lives and there is nothing I value more than that. The vital financial support to the project means we are in a great position to develop the business and we hope to bring in new members of the team early next year.”
Michelle Shepherd, Business Adviser, Business Gateway Dundee said: “We knew instantly that Simon’s idea had huge potential but we had to ensure he had a very clear plan of how to proceed, especially as external investment and funding would play a crucial part in his development. Since then we have worked very closely with Simon helping him identify funding opportunities as well as supporting him as a new business owner.”
The Centurion 3 is the first in a range of products Iron Ocean plan to develop for the oil and gas, maritime and clean energy industries. It is designed to be worn under offshore survival suits and has been engineered to offer slash resistance and fire protection, as well as generating heat on submersion for at least one hour.
Iron Ocean is now developing a new range of lightweight, self-heating, technical wetsuit’s for Triathlon athletes and is currently designing a clothing line under its own brand.
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