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Caithness News Bulletins February 2004

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Waterproof Writing System For Marine Activities - Produces In Thrumster 

A new innovative business has started in Thrumster, with help from Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE).  Jo Bartlett - who moved with her husband Paul to the area from Leicester last year - has taken the family's passion for sailing and identified a gap in the market for waterproof data recording equipment.

Operating as MICS Ltd  www.marinecard.com , Jo and Paul have invented a waterproof system to allow fellow sailors to take and record vital information on the water. One method currently used by watersports enthusiasts is pen and paper - which is obviously unsuitable in wet conditions - but the MARINECARD will allow them to print and record data on laminated pouches, which are secured in a moulded plastic holder and attached to the wrist or equipment with a Velcro strap.

CASE has awarded MICS Ltd a HIE Starts grant totalling 4,100. HIE-Starts is a European-funded initiative designed to help new businesses in their first year with valuable advice, assistance and financial support. In addition the business received a development grant of 2,300 for vital equipment.

The business is based in the family home in Thrumster with Jo working full-time on the project and Paul continuing to work at Dounreay but helping out in his spare time.

Commenting on the new business, Jo said: "With 1.8 million people participating in some form of water sports in the UK, there is definitely a market for the MARINECARD. We have already received a considerable amount of interest from sailing suppliers and yacht clubs and we also plan to sell our product over the internet."

Business counsellor at CASE, Ian Thomson said: "MICS Ltd is a very innovative and enterprising project and therefore worthy of support via the HIE Starts programme. We wish MICS Ltd every success."