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Enterprise Hub Network - Case History

Isle of Wight Enterprise Hub
Ken Dueck


Company Background

The invention that began as a sailor’s smart idea five years ago is about to hit production.

While building his own boat, Hybrid-Marine founder Graeme Hawksley had the idea of developing a complete hybrid system for powering small marine craft, which would provide electrical power and propulsion from diesel.

This parallel hybrid system compliments the standard diesel engine rather than replacing it, allowing the boat owner to select their preferred power source, depending on conditions.

Part of the research work on the technology has been funded by the DTI’s Smart Award scheme.

Now Graeme, with fellow founding director Mark Tilley who heads up sales and marketing, has a development and supply deal with Beta Marine for inland and ocean-going craft. This is thought to be the first invention of its kind to be hitting volume production.

Work with Enterprise Hub

The Hub has been working with Hybrid-Marine for several years to help find funding opportunities.

The focus has been on finding the right financial tool to help the company move forward.

Ken Dueck’s key role has been to keep abreast of what is available. Through the Hub’s links, Hybrid-Marine now hopes to be able to take advantage of a significant loan managed by Finance South East.

The mentoring scheme was used for guidance and to develop further important links in the marine industry.

Commenting on Hybrid-Marine’s work with the Isle of Wight Enterprise Hub, managing director Graeme Hawksley said:

“The Hub has been invaluable. It has helped a great deal with advice on how to run a company and connected me with various contacts in the industry. They have also played an important part in helping us gain our next funding. I expect to continue to use their help as we grow and look for premises and staff.”

According to Ken Dueck, Isle of Wight Enterprise Hub Director:

“After five years of hard labour, it is looking very, very promising now. It is really good timing in many ways for Hybrid-Marine. The business should benefit from the increasing price of diesel as well as concerns about carbon production and global warming. People like to be responsible when they are having fun. Another big selling point is that this system provides high quality electricity that can be used to power equipment like laptops and entertainment systems.”

What’s next

Hybrid-Marine is aiming for a £9million turnover in five years time and hopes to be employing up to nine people. With the removal of permission to use reduced price agricultural red diesel for leisure craft, the cost of fuel will increase, paving the way for innovative hybrid systems. The company is currently seeing a “wave” of interest in their product and hopes to become a formidable force in its market area.

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