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5G at Sea: Enabling a sustainable blue economy

TechX Pioneer Spotlight: JET Engineering

While partaking in the UK’s Fastnet Race, James Thomas and his team’s yacht engine failed. Without autopilot, the next four days saw the team of two having to manually steer the boat through hazardous conditions, with no communications available. James and his team soon came to realise that this wasn’t just an issue in the leisure yachting space. In the offshore renewable sector, due to a lack of connectivity infrastructure, data communication at sea is limited by distance from the coast, low bandwidth and high cost.

In 2021, CEO James Thomas founded JET Engineering, presenting a solution in the form of floating 5G mesh network buoys that are able to withstand harsh conditions. This innovative solution makes the likes of telecoms at sea a reality, uniquely utilising 5G to increase the level of bandwidth available. Designed to be deployed individually or as part of a larger network, the 5G floating buoys enable Industry 4.0 capacity data transmission rates for offshore operations, increasing safety and efficiency.


The technology can actively enable the offshore wind industry to have quicker installation and commissioning phases, and greener operations throughout the assets’ lifespan; the likes of drones can be easily deployed rather than relying on pollutive vessels. This will reduce carbon emissions and cut costs, enabling more offshore renewables deployment. Sustainability is embedded in the company’s value proposition.

James Thomas, Founder & CEO of JET Engineering

“Our technology enables the creation of a connected, safer, more secure, and environmentally sustainable global blue economy. It ensures future generations can protect and prosper from the sea responsibly.”

Now part of TechX’s fourth cohort of start-ups, the company applied to gain access to the Net Zero Technology Centre’s extensive network of industry professionals and mentors, with a pool of over 50 mentors that TechX start-ups can be matched to.

“TechX has allowed us to expand our network, and the mentoring has been invaluable. We have also taken a range of learnings from the programme’s workshops which have given us unique insights into how much impact can be made in such a short space of time.” 

In the next two years, which will see JET Engineering receive further growth support from TechX,  James Thomas expects the company to complete a pilot programme and gain the asset finances required to roll out their first full network at sea.

You can follow JET Engineering and the rest of our latest TechX cohort’s journey via our social media channels, or by 
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