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Up to £400,000 grant funding available for offshore wind supply chain improvement projects

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Offshore Wind Growth Partnership issues its first calls to engage with industry

The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) has released its first funding pot totalling £400,000 for projects that aim to improve the competitiveness of the existing UK supply chain and encourage the development of new products and services for the sector.

Launched in June 2019, the OWGP is a key part of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal between industry and Government. Funded by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) and delivered by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, it has a budget of £100m over a ten-year period and will promote closer collaboration across the supply chain and facilitate shared growth opportunities between developers and the supply chain.

The funding is available to all UK companies for submissions in two specific areas: cost reduction from advanced manufacturing techniques; and developing advanced sensors, Internet of Things (IoT) and communications solutions for offshore wind.

Andrew Macdonald, OWGP Programme Director, said: “It’s great to see the offshore wind industry’s commitment to developing and growing its UK supply chain as the industry continues to show rapid growth. Announcing this funding is a huge step forward and shows the positive, tangible opportunities for the UK coming out of the Sector Deal.

“Our aim, through the OWGP, is to maximise the economic benefits of the UK’s world-leading position in offshore wind by delivering increased productivity and competitiveness that will drive increased UK content into offshore windfarms in the rapidly growing global market, as well as in the UK.

“These two calls are the first of many that will kick start our journey to achieving a globally recognised and world-leading offshore wind supply chain.”

Martin Whitmarsh, chair of OWGP said: “Since launching the programme in June, I have been keen to ensure OWGP makes an impact as soon as possible and I am delighted to see OWGP has hit the ground running.  These calls will directly support up to 16 companies and this is just the start of a long-term £100m programme to capitalise on the UK’s leading position in offshore wind deployment.”

Benj Sykes, Industry Chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council, said: “Today’s announcement is a great example of the Sector Deal in action. Building up the UK’s innovative supply chain is a key part of the offshore wind industry’s commitment to get even more UK companies on board, so that we can maximise the economic benefits of our global lead in this technology. Coastal communities around the UK are being transformed into centres of excellence and our wider supply chain is extending to every part of the country. The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership will ensure that the expansion of this dynamic sector will accelerate in the years ahead.”

The first call is seeking submissions that identify potential cost reductions from advanced manufacturing or fabrication techniques. The aim is to encourage and support UK companies to explore new manufacturing methods and techniques that could improve productivity and facilitate cost reduction, with successful applicants learning from specialist delivery partners. This call is targeted at UK manufacturers/fabricators across all areas of the offshore wind supply chain and, in particular, companies seeking support to improve their existing processes and techniques, to reduce costs and ultimately become more competitive in the sector.

The second call will focus on developing advanced sensors, Internet of Things (IoT) and communications solutions for offshore wind, supporting existing supply chain companies to expand their range of products and services to meet the future needs of the sector and is aimed at UK-based SMEs exploring the use of innovative technologies, products and services to improve communications at next-generation offshore wind farms.

Over 200 companies have now registered an interest on the OWGP website where further information on the calls can be found.  A webinar with an opportunity to ask questions will take place on 9th October with applications required by 7th November.

For more information, and to apply, visit the OWGP website.


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Published
Mon 7 Oct 2019
Last Updated
Tue 8 Oct 2019

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Andrew Macdonald

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