Launch Academy, an award-winning technology acceleration programme, is tapping into the large amount of offshore renewables activity in the East of England, with the aim of enhancing the regional supply chain, supporting local companies, boosting local content, and increasing engagement in innovation.
This is the first time ORE Catapult has run their flagship Launch Academy programme in the East of England – a region that is one of the UK’s largest offshore renewable energy hubs.
“It is fantastic to be launching a Launch Academy programme in the East of England for the first time – a region where offshore renewable energy has really taken off and continues to grow. Launch Academy is the only technology accelerator dedicated to offshore wind early-stage companies that allows us to provide highly focused support for leading innovators in the UK supply chain.”
Director of Strategy and Emerging Technologies at ORE Catapult
The programme is funded by ORE Catapult, RWE, Norfolk County Council, Essex County Council and Suffolk County Council, with pro bono support provided by Marks & Clerk, Birketts and Lovewell Blake.
There are nine companies across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex that have embarked on this programme:
Robots for internal nacelle maintenance in offshore turbines to complete basic technical tasks reducing the need for wind turbine technician interference that are VR controlled.
Low-cost automatic real time people tracking utilising a new to industry technology which seamlessly integrates with existing MMS systems.
Mixed reality headsets to create a digital rehearsal of concept game area for offshore applications which can be viewed in real time via headsets or screens for large teams.
Embedded fibre optic condition monitoring in offshore wind, specifically for concrete foundations in floating offshore wind structures.
Robotic system with combined shearography and thermography capabilities for subsurface defect detection and quantification.
Tiamat dredging device to pump silt back into the water column, utilising tide and currents to displace sediment and promote self-replenishment of the estuarine system.
Modular direct air carbon capture device using excess power produced by offshore wind farms.
Development of eco-reefs that provide scour protection for offshore infrastructure, such as cable routes and turbine foundations, with 90% recycled materials to mitigate carbon use and retain ocean habitats.
Recycling and material separation of wind turbine blades using ultra high pressure waterjet technology.
“East of England is a key region for RWE and as such we are delighted to support this first ORE Catapult Launch Academy for Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.
“With interests in four local operational offshore wind projects and two in the development pipeline, RWE is keen to play a role in ensuring local companies and suppliers have the opportunity to bring forward innovative solutions, technologies and concepts that could potentially benefit the wider offshore wind sector.”
Director of Offshore Development UK and Ireland at RWE