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BlueNose 4

Key details


  • 5 June 2024


  • RCA

Read time

  • 3 minutes
BlueNose-3coms (1)


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.

Revive_brand update_Still renders_Airpods April 2023.2 (2)

Revive Innovations +

Founded in 2019 by Urshita Gautam and Abhisheik Kamal, Revive is developing a compact flat autoinjector device. The device is credit-card sized and can easily slip into a pocket or handbag. Revive is designed to safely deliver the required medical dose regardless of body shape or size. The business started life as Abhisheik’s final year project while he was studying for his MA in Design Products at the RCA, supported by Urshita with design research while studying for her MA in Writing, also at the RCA. Since completing their degrees Urshita and Abhisheik have been supported by InnovationRCA.

Abhisheik Kamal, co-founder of Revive Innovations +, said: “Revive is on a mission to apply design thinking and tools to the injectables drug delivery market in order to develop patient-centric devices for self-management. Our journey started when Urshita and I began to look into the importance of user profiles when generating designs for mass consumption as part of an RCA initiative for collaboration between different programmes to encourage a more multidisciplinary approach to design. We were quickly drawn to medical devices designed for self-management, particularly the auto-injector, which was originally designed for military applications – suggesting a user group of young, healthy men enlisting in the army. We asked ourselves if the user profile needed to be updated and the answer was that it obviously does, with the current devices available on the market severely lacking. Over the past few years, we have redesigned the auto-injector to make it more patient-centric, based on an inclusive user profile. The investment from the RCA Fund will enable us to move forward with a pilot production to test our device’s ability to fulfil market demands.”

Dr Nadia Danhash, Director of InnovationRCA, said: We believe the compactness of the Revive device will not only help ensure that allergy sufferers always carry it, but that it also challenges the old assumptions that medical devices will work equally for both sexes. The beauty of this device is that it will work more effectively with all body shapes and sizes. Urshita and Abhisheik are amazingly talented and hardworking founders and we’re tremendously happy that the Fund has invested in Revive.”

The RCA Design & Innovation S/EIS Investment Fund is focused on backing early-stage companies founded by RCA staff or graduates. Reflecting the nature of innovation at the RCA, the multi-sector fund is investing in a range of technology and product companies encompassing the med-tech, climate-tech and ag-tech sectors, as well as software companies and creative brands, many of which will be based on patentable inventions. To date, InnovationRCA (the RCA’s award-winning centre for entrepreneurship, incubation and business support) has backed over 80 design-led ventures and these have gone on to raise over £135 million from other investors. Around 40% of the InnovationRCA’s portfolio consists of impact-for-profit companies and in the past five years 52% have been women-led.

The RCA Design & Innovation S/EIS Fund achieved its first-close target earlier this year, allowing it to start making investments. Given the exciting pipeline of opportunities the Fund continues to accept new investors.

The Fund allows qualified investors access to companies at a very early stage while valuations are low and those companies will be incubated and supported by InnovationRCA. Over the next 18-24 months the Fund intends to invest into 15-20 S/EIS qualifying companies in total. It will invest at the pre-seed and seed stage and be the first investor, and will also make follow-on investments. The fund will enable individual investors to benefit from the HMRC Seed Enterprise Investment and Enterprise Investment Schemes that provide 30%- 50% tax reliefs respectively subject to complying with certain conditions.