Home / Updates / Rowers turn to North East innovation for Atlantic challenge

Rowers turn to North East innovation for Atlantic challenge

Visitors to Great Exhibition of the North are being invited to visit HMS Calliope on 29 June to see how North East innovation is helping a team of rowers take on the world’s toughest rowing challenge.

Team Tyne – led by North East businessman Phil Kite – will be rowing more than 3,000 miles as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in a specially designed boat packed full of innovative products, equipment and designs developed in the North East of England.

The boat will be on display at HMS Calliope as part of an exhibition showcasing the innovative products and services provided by the team’s sponsors, which include Womble Bond Dickinson, Deloitte, Power Roll, International AkzoNobel and Natural Nutrients.

Phil Kite from Team Tyne said: “Innovation and creativity is alive and kicking in the North East. We are a region developing products, services and ideas that will change the world we live in.

“We wanted to use the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge as a way to highlight some of the hugely talented companies and individuals working in the North East today. It’s been a fantastic experience learning about the innovations taking place right on our doorstep and our exhibition on the 29 June, during Great Exhibition of the North, is an opportunity for the public to meet the people involved.”

Some of the innovators exhibiting at the event include Cubix Eyewear from Darlington, who have provided Team Tyne’s eye protection; The All-in-One Company from Ashington, suppliers of the crew’s sleeping kit; Jotron UK from Cramlington, who have provided the transponders and VHF radios; and Mammoth from Newcastle who are providing scientifically developed mattresses.

Alan Welby, Innovation Director at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “What Phil and his team have managed to achieve is open innovation in practice – they’ve presented North East companies with challenges and problems and those companies have worked with Team Tyne to develop ground-breaking products or adapt existing ones to offer bespoke solutions.

“This innovation and collaboration is what the exhibition will be celebrating and showcasing and is something we’re looking forward to. We hope other businesses and members of the public will come along to the event and see first-hand that if we’re a region producing ground-breaking products and collaborating effectively.”

John Tuton, Founder and Managing Director of Mammoth, said: “As a company with a clear focus on innovation, Mammoth is delighted to be supporting Team Tyne in its upcoming challenge. 

“We know that sleep is the absolute foundation for health and recovery and with the boat’s cramped cabin conditions, it’s our mission to provide the team with the optimal comfort for rest and rehabilitation – a vital part of their rigorous rowing schedule. 

“We are looking forward to joining the team and fellow innovators at this week’s event to showcase the finest in North East innovation and creativity to members of the public. Visitors are very welcome to stop by the Mammoth stand, meet the team and try out our sleep technologies for themselves.”

Team Tyne has also worked closely with the North East’s universities and colleges on everything from the design of the boat to its engineering. Catlin Bray, a 1st year Textiles students at Newcastle College, won a competition to have her design featured on the Team Tyne boat.

Phil continued: “We’re still looking for sponsors and supporters to help us on our Atlantic challenge so we can raise as much money as possible for our charity partners; Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care, The Stroke Association and St Oswald’s Hospice.

“The exhibition on the 29 June is a chance for people to learn more about our exciting challenge and meet everyone involved. It’s been a huge team effort from my team mates Claire, Dave and Guy and we’d love to bring more people along on the journey.”

The Team Tyne Innovation Ocean Rowing Exhibition, which is sponsored by the North East LEP, takes place at HMS Calliope on 29 June from 10:00-16:30. The exhibition is free to attend and charity donations are welcome.

For more information about Team Tyne and its Atlantic rowing challenge, visit www.teamtyneinnovation.com