The Digital, Autonomous and Robotics Engineering (DARE) Centre

Published 15 August 2023 Last updated 7 November 2023

About the DARE Centre

The £3m state-of-the-art DARE Centre is the first of its kind in the UK and provides a unique opportunity for developers, researchers and wider industry to test, demonstrate and commercialise innovative digital and robotic products and services for the offshore renewable energy market.

As offshore wind in the UK gets set to triple capacity over the next decade, the adoption of robotics and autonomous systems is vital to achieving this rapid expansion and reaching Net Zero. These technologies play an increasingly important role in the offshore renewable energy sector, and the UK is primed to establish a world-leading supply chain linked to their future development.

DARE Centre facilities

The DARE Centre includes a robotics assembly bay, an airborne robotics test zone, three dry docks with 20,000m3 capacity and test control rooms linked to the docks via a live environment monitoring system.

The centre is the latest part of ORE Catapult’s National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, which offers a wide range of test and validation facilities, including market-leading wind turbine testing and an offshore demonstration zone.

Take a closer look at the DARE Centre and the opening event in this video:

Graham Stuart, Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero

“Drones, robots and underwater vehicles can reinforce the UK’s position as the world leader in offshore wind, make us even more competitive, and keep turbines turning in even the most hazardous of conditions.

“The robotics centre will increase the safety and productivity of our highly skilled offshore wind technicians, lower costs, and contribute both to lower consumer bills and the nation’s energy security.”

Andrew Jamieson, Chief Executive at ORE Catapult

“The UK has a global reputation for its sub-ocean engineering expertise and ingenuity. The DARE Centre will propel UK businesses and this capability into the fast-expanding offshore wind space.

“Innovation we can unlock here will allow those at the cutting edge of offshore wind development to work faster and safer, optimise specialist skills, improve reliability, and reduce the carbon footprint of the next generation of offshore wind farms.”

2023 DARE Centre case study with SMD

SMD recently tested their latest technology, the EROV, at our DARE Centre in Blyth. Listen to Mark Collins, Innovation Director at SMD, explain the benefits of testing at our National Renewable Energy Centre:

The DARE Centre is located at ORE Catapult’s National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth and was opened in May 2023.

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