A new collaboration agreement announced today (Thursday Oct 31) will champion small and medium-sized (SME) companies’ ambitions to bring innovation to the energy industry.
The agreement will see the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult working closely with the private sector backed Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) to bring new technology to commercial reality in the offshore energy sector.
The Glasgow-based ORE Catapult was launched this year by the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board. In collaboration with industry and academia, it provides engineering, technology and commercialisation expertise to SMEs to speed up the delivery of technology innovation to meet the challenges of harnessing low-carbon power from offshore wind, wave and tidal energy. It is one of seven such Catapults aimed at growth sectors in which the UK has a technology lead.
Cheshire-based EIC is a partnership set up five years ago by the UK’s leading electricity and gas networks to seek out novel technologies and solutions from the UK and around the world that have the potential to transform today’s power networks.
The collaboration will provide direct access to market for SMEs that need engineering and commercialisation expertise for their innovative ideas to be propelled into the offshore renewable energy sector.
ORE Catapult will join the advisory board of the EIC and will benefit from the continuous development of channels to access and attract new technologies from SMEs to the energy sector. The EIC will gain ORE Catapult’s specialist knowledge of the offshore renewables sector.
ORE Catapult chief executive Andrew Jamieson said: “This is an important move which fits in well with our overall aim of helping UK businesses to transform early stage technology into viable, commercialised products and services to generate economic growth.
“EIC provides an excellent source of innovating companies who need exactly the sort of engineering, technology and commercialisation services the Catapult provides. We are ready to play our part in helping the UK to build growth in key sectors, develop a low-carbon economy and drive down the cost of electricity.”
EIC managing director Denise Massey said: “We are a proven route to market for SMEs, but we now need a route to the offshore renewables sector market. Linking with ORE Catapult will give many of our customers, the SMEs who are developing the technology and services, a direct route into that end of the supply chain – the big manufacturers and the big players in the offshore renewable energy space.
“It’s a very big tick in the box for Government, for SMEs and for UK plc. Because we’re working within the gas sector and the electricity sector, we can leverage funding, for example for the electricity networks.
“When we work with ORE Catapult, we can bring in other funding so that it shares the risk for energy customers, and is cheaper for them and cheaper for the offshore renewables sector. So we attract new funding and there will be potential where the ORE Catapult will want to potentially collaborate in projects with the transition networks, sharing costs and sharing risks.”
Notes to Editors
About the Energy Innovation Centre (EIC)
The Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) brings industry and innovation together to drive the discovery, development and deployment of new technologies and ideas for the electricity and gas power distribution networks.
Its role is two-fold:
• For its industry partners, the centre acts as innovation scout proactively seeking out opportunities that have the potential to benefit the energy sector, improve health and safety, benefit customers or contribute to reducing energy costs.
• For small businesses, the centre acts as a gateway to industry expertise and funding.
EIC is a partnership between Electricity North West, National Grid, Northern Gas Networks, Northern Powergrid, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Scotia Gas Networks, SP Energy Networks, SSE Power Distribution, UK Power Networks and Wales & West Utilities,
The centre is headquartered in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, with offices in Glasgow and London.