UK: Eleven Firms Win Offshore Wind Growth Partnership Grants

Photo: REAV-40, a multipurpose autonomous surface vehicle for hydrographic and environmental surveying, was developed by Hydrosurv, one of the eleven companies - ©OWGP
Photo: REAV-40, a multipurpose autonomous surface vehicle for hydrographic and environmental surveying, was developed by Hydrosurv, one of the eleven companies - ©OWGP

The UK-based Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) on Friday announced the winners of its first Innovation Grant Funding Competition in which eleven UK firms secured a share of OWGP's £3m Innovation Grant funding pot.

Launched in September 2021, the Innovation Grant competition offers grants of up to £100,000 to UK supply chain companies for projects that could accelerate the offshore wind site development and consenting process.

The 11 companies, from across the UK, will deliver projects that address a variety of challenges associated with offshore wind site development and consenting, including optimising site selection, environmental monitoring and compensation methods, subsea surveys, and data analysis techniques.

Sophie Banham, Equinor’s Digitalisation Manager at Dogger Bank Wind Farms and OWGP Industry Lead, said: “It’s fantastic to see these projects and companies being supported by the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership. This Innovation Grant Funding, targeting the earliest phase of offshore wind project development, has the potential to unlock real value for developers through providing state-of-the-art solutions for a range of issues. I look forward to seeing the outcomes of this work being deployed in the UK and beyond to support the UK's position as a leader in offshore wind.”

The remaining Innovation Grant pot funding will be allocated at the next OWGP funding competition, which is expected to launch in May 2022.  The competition scope and key dates will be announced soon, OWGP said Friday.

The OWGP’s grant funding portfolio now consists of forty-seven projects, each delivering new products, services and technologies to the UK offshore wind sector and unlocking domestic supply chain growth and export opportunities.  Combined with the OWGP’s suite of business transformation programs, over 100 companies are currently receiving targeted support to help overcome barriers to growth in the sector,OWGP said .

"The OWGP plays a key role in delivering the Offshore Wind Sector Deal and is funded by members of the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), with a budget of £100m over ten years.  The program supports the growth of UK businesses looking to capitalize on the huge opportunities offered by the global offshore wind sector," the organization said.

Here is the full list of Innovation Grant competition winners and project descriptions, as shared by OWGP.

Applied Petroleum TechnologyAPT is building on its cloud-based product that delivers a step-change in optimizing site selection which reduces time and costs, while  improving data access, integration, processing, and auditability of results.
Continuum Industries Developing applications of their technology, Optioneer, for onshore cable route alternatives analysis and substation siting.
FLI Structures In collaboration with Shoney Wind Ltd, the project will undertake fabrication trials of a unique Kittiwake artificial nesting and feeding tower. These will deliver compensation to offset predicted kittiwake collision and mortality and allow safe internal access for ornithologists to undertake comprehensive monitoring of breeding  Kittiwake.
HydroSurv Unmanned Survey This project will explore the development and demonstration of an innovative UXO survey solution, integrating existing magnetometry equipment with a HydroSurv uncrewed surface vessel (USV), reducing carbon emissions and survey costs and allowing surveying to be carried out in shallow water sites.
NASH Maritime Ltd NASH Maritime is developing SCOWT (Spatial Constraints for Offshore Wind  Tool) to provide immediate intelligence and quantitative evidence for informed decision-making on site-selection and layout design. This will enable an interactive geospatial platform, integrating and processing big datasets, ensuring the safety of future projects whilst meeting international guidance and industry best practice.
The Natural Power Consultants This proof-of-concept study will compare the results from water sampling for eDNA with traditional fish catch data from trawl stations around an existing offshore wind farm, with a view to producing an eDNA method for fish ecology surveys around commercial sites. If fish eDNA techniques can be validated within the offshore environment as a suitable alternative to traditional fish survey techniques, it may have significant benefits to both the developer and stakeholder communities.
Ocean Information Services Focusing on cetacean movements, this project sets out to extend the deployment life of subsea loggers through use of recent developments in energy management. Further developments in water-air communication links paves  the way for UAVs to harvest information from subsea sensors which will lead to improvements in personnel safety, reducing the carbon footprint of operations and reducing operating costs.
PanGeo Subsea PanGeo will undertake a demonstration project to validate a new data collection concept that supports GHG emission reductions via a smaller offshore vessel, faster data collection, and a multi-sensor survey doubling our existing data collection swath.
Ryder Geotechnical Hadrian Cloud Services speeds up the analysis and interrogation of geotechnical data and allows its users to streamline offshore geotechnical surveys and construction projects. Hadrian enables responsive data driven design decisions to be made throughout a project life cycle offering increased efficiency and significant time savings.
Sonardyne International Ltd Project ‘Element’ aims to further develop and demonstrate ADCP (Acoustic  Doppler Current Profiler) technology that will accurately measure sea current and temperature, and wirelessly communicate this information and floating RPS LiDAR wind measurements via satellite to the Cloud. The user onshore is presented with all the information through a single web portal.
Turner Iceni Ltd Turner Iceni aims to prove the concept of operating new technology unmanned surface survey vessels from offshore vessels such as CTV. Acting as a  force multiplier, the USV will deliver a new low carbon, cost-effective and efficient hydrographic and geophysical survey tool to the offshore wind consenting and site development industry.

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