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Helm Innovation Ltd

Saving lives at sea with its cutting edge ladder and rigging system

Helm Innovation Ltd is a product design company taking on life saving challenges on a macro scale through human-centered design. 

The company is designing a new approach to make pilot transfers at sea safer. Marine Piloting is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. With approximately 1.5 million vessels globally demanding pilots’ services, speed and efficacy has resulted in frequent dangerous conditions . In most cases, incidents are a result of dangerous ladders or dangerous rigging of the ladders. 

Helm is aiming to displace the traditional ladder system - made from wood and rope and therefore subject to weather erosion - with its Dynamic System, which removes 80% of risk in each transfer. The durable boarding system is comprised of a ladder made from high-impact plastic (“dynaweb’) and a rigging system (“dynalock”) which clamps the ladder to the deck of the ship. The combination of the two products provides the pilot with a safe and secure means of access to ships entering his jurisdiction. The company has won awards for innovation from Lloyd’s Register.

Co-founders Madelaine Dowd and Chia Kung graduated from the RCA in 2018 with MAs in Information Experience Design and Design Products respectively.