Offshore Wind Growth Partnership releases first money for projects that aim to improve the competitiveness of the sector. 

The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) has released £400,000 in funding 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.

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

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 reductions.

Successful applicants will learn from specialist delivery partners.

The call is targeted at UK manufacturers and fabricators across all areas of the offshore wind supply chain and, in particular, companies seeking support to improve existing processes and techniques, to reduce costs and ultimately become more competitive in the sector.

The second call is aimed at UK-based SMEs exploring the use of innovative technologies, products and services to improve communications at next-generation offshore wind farms.

OWGP was launched in June 2019 as part of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal between industry and government.

It is funded by the Offshore Wind Industry Council and delivered by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.

The partnership has a budget of £100m over a 10-year period to promote closer collaboration and growth across the supply chain.

OWGP programme director Andrew Macdonald 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 wind farms 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.”

OWGP chair Martin Whitmarsh 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.”

“Offshore Wind Industry Council industry chair Benj Sykes 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”.