Oban company lands £100,000 cash prize
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.