Annual Garrad Hassan Renewable Energy Lecture

15 October 2020, 6.00 PM - 15 October 2020, 7.15 PM


Engineering, Innovation, and Early Stage Technology in Renewable Energy

Martin Wright - Chief Executive, Minus 7 Limited; Chair, Gravitricity Ltd

The lecture will examine the place of engineering innovation process in the context of all aspects of early stage business drawing on the experience of having been a founder, director, and investor in a number of early stage technology businesses within the energy sector and ranging from marine energy to heat and energy storage.  It will seek to illustrate the nature of the innovation and development process and examine the particular constraints upon early stage companies and the implications of those constraints. Particular focus will be on the role of the engineer and importance of the engineering perspective to corporate decisions, as experienced, observed and ultimately learned by the lecturer.


Martin is a Founder investor and Chief Executive of Minus 7 Limited, Founder and Chairman of Gravitricity Limited, as well being the Chairman of the Renewable Energy Association, past Chairman of the Ocean Energy Group, and Mojo Maritime Limited. He is currently involved in two new technology companies, Minus 7 Limited, which has developed a zero carbon, low cost, renewable heating and power solution for properties, and Gravitricity, which is developing a grid scale, decentralised Energy Storage technology. He was one of the founders of Marine Current Turbines Limited, which is the leading tidal technology company with the ‘SeaGen’ 1.2MW tidal turbine operating in Strangford Narrows in Northern Ireland. He joined the company full-time in February 2002, as Managing Director and latterly CEO. Following the sale of the company in 2011, he joined Mojo Maritime limited as Chairman and as an investor until its sale to James Fisher Limited in 2015.

He has an M.A. (Hons) in Economics from Edinburgh, and an M.Eng in Petroleum Engineering from Heriot-Watt. He started his career as a Warfare Officer in the Royal Navy. Prior to joining MCT he worked for nine years as a Venture Capitalist first with Murray Johnstone Limited, and then with Northern Venture Managers Limited where he was responsible for starting and developing their business in the South of England. Martin has both corporate finance skills and commercial experience spanning a wide breath of industries developed whilst working as a financier, and as a director of investee companies. In particular he is very familiar with the issues involved in early stage technology companies. Energy, and specifically Renewable Energy and Energy Systems have been a primary focus for the last 20 years.

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