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Awards 2024

£50,000 to help unlock flagship project for Delkia

Delkia’s Bumblebee Project at DSEI, the UK’s largest defence exhibition, with R&D manager Pete Hudson

A firm has been awarded almost £50,000 to help it unlock a flagship research and development project.

Delkia, based in Whitehaven, Egremont and Preston, has launched Project Bumblebee – its first R&D project and has been supported by Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership with a f £49,887 grant.

The firm provides some of the most complex, high performing control systems in the UK.

Now in its 11th year, the company, which operates in highly regulated sectors including nuclear, aerospace and maritime, is on track to make £10m-plus in revenue.

Project Bumblebee, at a total cost of £99,775, is focused on developing a technology that will allow the rapid development of safe, vehicle control systems for submarines, ships, aircraft and other complex defence and commercial systems.

Pete Hudson, Delkia’s research and development manager, said: “We used the investment to take Bumblebee to a proof-of-concept demonstrator, using a remote-controlled submarine. The Cumbria LEP grant has helped us to establish the Bumblebee team and to buy essential computing and equipment.

“The project provided a stipend to a Masters student from the Lancaster University School of Data Science and provided a summer placement for an aerospace engineering graduate from the University of Central Lancashire.

“Bumblebee also saw us fund a project with the National Innovation Centre for Data at Newcastle University to help us embed data science skills into our business.

“Project Bumblebee, has allowed us to turn an innovative idea into intellectual property and add value to our rapidly growing company.”

Jo Lappin, chief executive of Cumbria LEP, said: “It is great to see the difference that the Innovating for Success grant programme has made to Delkia’s project Bumblebee.

“This is an excellent example of why we launched Innovating for Success. It was to encourage small and medium sized businesses across Cumbria to invest in either innovating or decarbonising their business.

Technology engineer Ben Carroll and summer graduate placement Kieran Shaw building the submarine

“It is clear that there are market opportunities available for this product, which could be important to the defence industry and its supply chain.

“These opportunities are available both here in Cumbria and nationwide and I wish Delkia every success in taking their product to market.”

The LEP’s Innovating for Success grant was launched in September 2022. It has resulted in dozens of businesses being awarded a share of a £1 million grant to either support innovation or cut carbon emissions. Grants were split into two areas:

  • Innovation: Maximum grants of up to £50,000 to part fund initiatives that turn new ideas into commercially viable and deliverable propositions.
  • Carbon reduction: Maximum grants of up to £20,000 to part fund practical projects that will help businesses reduce energy usage or increase renewable energy production.

Independent economic assessment by the LEP has confirmed that over a 10-year period, the Innovating for Success investments will deliver an additional £37 million of economic growth, create an additional 97 full time equivalent jobs and save over 4,160 tonnes of CO2.