Oban com­pany lands £100,000 cash prize

The Oban Times - - FEATURE -

OTAQ, an Oban com­pany de­sign­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­nol­ogy for the global fish farm­ing in­dus­try, has been an­nounced as one of the big­gest win­ners of the Scot­tish Edge awards, with a prize of £100,000.

The com­pe­ti­tion, aimed at iden­ti­fy­ing and sup­port­ing Scot­land’s up-and- com­ing, in­no­va­tive and en­tre­pre­neur­ial tal­ent, in­vited OTAQ to pitch at the fi­nals of the event in Ed­in­burgh last week where more than £1.27mil­lion in grants and loans was awarded.

The firm scooped £100,000 af­ter com­mer­cial di­rec­tor Chris Hyde led the firm’s pitch on its launch prod­uct, an in­no­va­tive de­ter­rent sys­tem called SealFENCE, which uses unique un­der­wa­ter acous­tic tech­nol­ogy to pre­vent seals from at­tack­ing marine fish farm­ing sites.

From 239 original ap­pli­cants, just 22 of Scot­land’s most promis­ing en­trepreneurs were in­vited to pitch their busi­nesses to an ex­pert panel of judges in or­der to win up to £100,000 each in grant fund­ing and loans.

Just 15 of the start-up and growth busi­nesses were suc­cess­ful, with only OTAQ and two oth­ers awarded the full amount ap­plied for.

Mr Hyde said: ‘This award is go­ing to make a ma­jor dif­fer­ence to our com­pany and will mean that we can ac­cel­er­ate our ex­port plans sig­nif­i­cantly, in­tro­duce our prod­uct to more mar­kets and re­cruit more staff this year.

‘Our com­pany vi­sion is to be­come world lead­ers in aquaculture tech­nol­ogy and, specif­i­cally, in acous­tic prod­ucts such as preda­tor con­trol and mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems.

‘Our key area of ex­per­tise lies within un­der­wa­ter acous­tics and sonar, and we in­tend to build a rep­u­ta­tion as ex­perts in this field within our in­dus­try.’

Chris Hyde, left, is pre­sented with the award by Sir Tom Hunter.

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