March 2023

Innovation – your best transferrable skill

Transferrable skills are often referenced in the recruitment process – but can they be applied to companies as a whole?

We are all familiar with this term which gained acclaim in the last decade, following the oil market recession and, more recently, Covid-induced workforce movements.

We all recognise the value of individuals with this ability to transfer their knowledge and experience between sectors, which adds new perspectives and expertise into the mix. Once onboard, they can build on their existing skill base by integrating with their new team. In this scenario, everyone’s a winner with cross-sharing of knowledge.

We believe that it is the same with companies as a whole: when you open your mind to a company from another sector, you also open the door to new ideas for tackling your challenges; in other words - innovation.

MDL’s journey started many years ago in the fishing industry, servicing boats. From there, we moved into designing and building equipment that solved the challenges in that industry. Later, we transitioned into the oil and gas sector – it turned out our “fishy” skillsets were directly applicable: our team of mechanical, hydraulic, electrical engineers and project managers quickly picked up the language and culture nuances.

After all, we had track record of making things go up and down and round and round in a marine environment - on time and within budget.

We found our niche in the flex-lay handling market and kindled its growth: pushing the boundaries on how much safety, capacity, portability and versatility we could package into each new piece of MDL equipment or client-purchased technology.

Now, we’re called on for decommissioning projects and to support safe extension of operations on ageing topsides. We work across the globe, from Canada to Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico to South China Sea.

We’re glad to see other industries are taking advantage of our expertise - and that’s not solely because of our experience in overcoming offshore challenges.

Our ability to evidence our advanced skillset working alongside our proven innovation gives project managers the reassurance they need. We minimise the “unknowns” on their challenges.

Innovation with a track record

One of our specialisms is the precise and efficient handling of cables offshore.

Now, we are looking at floating wind developments. The cables used here are evolving and need to be handed carefully, becoming progressively larger and therefore heavier, the further they’re deployed offshore.

The challenge may sound familiar to veteran oil and gas players - and yet very new and unchartered, as is the larger renewable energy sector. Thankfully, at MDL, we have the technology and engineering know-how to develop the answer that works for them - and that’s because we have the track record in this space.

We consider that our key transferrable skill.

Here are some examples:


Our existing flex-lay portfolio is directly applicable to cable handling, with the added safety benefits inherent in MDL technology, and our Project Management & Engineering expertise offers a solid foundation for dynamic and static cables or mooring rope scopes, including consolidation and pre-install activities onshore - all applicable to floating wind.

Among our enticingly simple yet innovative concepts is our Lay Alignment Tool which mitigates potential for human error associated with handling of long lengths of cables, by automating the process of monitoring and controlling the line speed.

Let’s not forget about clients’ existing assets that need overhauls or upgrades; here, MDL Asset Maintenance & Engineering team bring in an all-encompassing technical expertise to reinstate and commission complex equipment.


Besides packaging up our flex lay spread with different ancillaries for SURF retrieval and disposal, we pulled the key proven elements of our technology into a self-contained tool for efficient conductor and caisson decommissioning. MDL CleanCut can safely perform removals of steel pipes on board shut-down platforms even with a downrated crane and other end-of-life challenges.

Ports and quayside operations

With a decade’s worth of project management expertise involving handling portable equipment on and off vessels, One Team MDL is the single point of contact to orchestrate all the port facilities required to execute a near-shore scope or oversee a complete vessel mobilisation/demobilisation – whatever the mission ahead.

We have also empowered cable, umbilical and pipe manufacturers with bespoke systems to enable more efficient operations in their manufacturing plant – such as this electric tensioner to integrate with the cable spiralling machine, complete with an integrated safety and communication system for a Pipe-in-Pipe facility overseas.

Marine and civil engineering

Mechanical handling is a like-for-like discipline with civil engineering. And so, our expertise in designing, manufacturing and integrating systems for lifting and pulling loads under controlled tension in the energy sector can be deployed in construction of buildings, entertainment facilities, power generation and subsea structures with actuated features: think retractable roofs, lifting platforms (stages), Ferris wheels, and anything in between.

“Transferrable skills” at their finest

So, can companies promote their transferrable skills? The answer is of course “yes” – because a company is the larger sum of its people – and we pride ourselves on having an exceptional team on board. They are the solid link between our innovation and our track record – through their creativity and dependability.

We have a complete technical skillset in-house and over 20 years of a track record in designing and delivering new technology that works “straight out the box”.

By working with our clients every step of the way, we bring your concept to life - giving you the edge in your market, on time, within budget.

We work to deliver shorter project times, shorter mobilisation times, using versatile systems giving you exactly what you need when you need it to safely and efficiently achieve your goals.

Each MDL Innovation Package includes:

  • visualisation capabilities to bring the concept to life
  • complete capabilities in-house backed by a trusted supply chain
  • successful new equipment that works “out of the box” – with the renowned MDL reliability and durability
  • testing facilities to emulate on-project conditions
  • post-delivery support in integration, training and operations

It’s the reliability and quality behind the MDL badge that backs up our creativity and makes us the perfect innovation partner.

There's no better time than now to bring your concept through to delivery with MDL - just get in touch to set things in motion!