BlueNose Technologies secures funding from the RCA Design & Innovation S/EIS Fund

The Royal College of Art (RCA) and Infinity Asset Management LLP is delighted to announce that its RCA Design & Innovation S/EIS Fund has invested in BlueNose Technologies, an innovative climate-tech business in the maritime sector.

Founded in 2022 by Léon Grillet and Joë Sangar, BlueNose is developing a solution designed to significantly reduce the fuel consumption of container ships through the use of retrofittable aerodynamic improvements on ships. These improvements will reduce air-drag, which the company estimates will translate into a saving of up to 5% on the annual fuel cost. BlueNose started as a student project while Léon was studying for his MA in Innovation Design Engineering at the RCA. Following the completion of his studies Léon and Joë have continued to develop the business, supported by the RCA’s award-winning incubator, InnovationRCA.

Léon Grillet, co-founder of BlueNose Technologies, said: “The genesis of the BlueNose project began when the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) 2020 regulations came into effect requiring shipowners to reduce their harmful sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions to 0.5%. Given around 90% of cargo goods are carried by sea, the maritime sector is responsible for 3% of global CO2 emissions, making it one of the world’s most concentrated pollution sources. In an industry where margins are extremely low, the combination of rising fuel prices, global supply chain disruptions and ships having to take the long way round, as well as new regulations, have set the stage for greater propensity among ship owners to introduce novel technologies. BlueNose is developing a solution to improve a ship’s fluid dynamics. Based on initial tests, we estimate that our solution will ensure an efficiency improvement of 3-5%, which would prevent the emissions of 3,000 tonnes of CO2 per ship per year equipped with a BlueNose device. The funding secured from the RCA Design & Innovation S/EIS Fund will really help us move to the next stage of development.”

Dr Nadia Danhash, Director of InnovationRCA, said: “The solution BlueNose is developing not only reduces emissions, but does so in a way that incentivises shipping companies by reducing their annual fuel consumption and therefore lowering costs. We’re incredibly excited to have BlueNose in the Fund’s portfolio and very much look forward to continuing on the journey with Léon and Joë.”

Since 2015, InnovationRCA has operated its angel network, AngelClubRCA, which was set up to promote and encourage commercial enterprise in the UK by connecting the most promising S/EIS early-stage RCA start-ups with investors. Now with the RCA Design and Impact S/EIS Fund, more qualified investors can access the unique multi-sector RCA pipeline at a very early stage while valuations are low and those companies are incubated and supported by InnovationRCA.