Taranaki is full of great business stories that very few people know about. When high-profile state owned enterprise MetService bought a 49 percent stakeholding in New Plymouth company MetOcean, one such story deservedly gained a lot more attention.

MetOcean Solutions has a history of innovative marine weather products and provides an expert consultancy to local and international markets. Founded in 2005, the business now employs 20 staff, including 8 PhD scientists.

It is this firm foundation in science that has seen the company take on projects of national significance including design studies and installation support services for the Kupe, Maari, Pohokura and Tui offshore facilities, as well as the initial studies for prospective fields such as the Great South Basin. 

The partnership with MetService will give MetOcean an international network through which to support its products and services, as well as further strengthening the science and technology resources behind the company. 

“The partnership with MetService offers MetOcean a fantastic opportunity to grow and deliver a more comprehensive range of products to a much bigger international audience,” says MetOcean founder Dr Peter McComb.

“It’s a very good news story.”

The success of MetOcean rests very firmly on strong foundations of research and development, and the company’s R&D programme over the years has positioned it well for export growth of its science-based products and services.

“We very much acknowledge the assistance we received from Venture Taranaki with our success.”

MetOcean have utilised a Technology Project Funding grant from Callaghan Innovation, through Venture Taranaki, which has contributed half the funding in the R&D phase of a significant new marine forecast system for ports. The system will ultimately assist ports in their operations planning, offering highly detailed and precise information that will span not only weather and marine forecasts, but also the impacts on vessel motion. Trials undertaken in Port Taranaki have so far proven very positive. 

The company has also been able to bring in postgraduate tertiary students to progress smaller projects, utilising additional funding resources through Venture Taranaki.

“Without Venture Taranaki’s assistance to unlock this funding we would never have been able to dedicate so much resource and time to our R&D projects,” Peter says.

“It has enabled us to make our projects better, bigger and faster, and get to the all-important results stage now, not in five years' time."