Offshore Wind to Meet Space, Defence and Oil & Gas at OrbisEnergy

Sharing technologies and solutions between the growing offshore wind industry and the space, defence and oil & gas sectors will be the theme of an event at OrbisEnergy, Lowestoft.

Lessons learned in the more mature industries to help the developing offshore wind business across the UK will be aired by experts at the event which will be held on 6 December.

Offshore Wind Meets…Space, Defence and Oil & Gas is being held in partnership with Innovate UK, the Knowledge Transfer Network and OrbisEnergy.

The free-to-attend one-day event is targeted at innovators, engineers, strategic thinkers and inventors developing solutions for offshore wind to support its development and target of driving down costs.

Speakers from the European Space Agency, Airbus Defence and Space, LM Handling Ltd., part of the offshore services group Acteon, James Fisher & Sons, Renewable UK, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, and BVG Associates will offer their perspectives on the collaboration potential between these industries.

David Hÿtch, lead technologist for offshore renewable energy at Innovate UK, said the event would provide a forum to share ideas about how cross sector innovation could improve efficiency, cut costs and bring new technology options.

“With more than 5GW of offshore wind already installed in UK waters, 4.5GW of projects under construction and a significant pipeline of projects emerging across the world, offshore wind energy presents a significant opportunity for UK companies to diversify and expand both at home and abroad,” Hÿtch said.

“This event is the first of its kind. We will be bringing together four very distinct industries and supply chains where we feel there are a range of cross-sector opportunities to drive technical and commercial innovation, supply chain collaboration, and reduce the costs of developing, operating, and maintaining offshore wind projects.”

Johnathan Reynolds, business development lead for OrbisEnergy, said Offshore Wind Meets… was about driving innovation, research and collaboration between industries.

“We know that there are many lessons the fast-developing offshore wind supply chain could learn from other industries,” Reynolds said.

”Whether it’s in remote operations, monitoring and inspection; materials innovation in harsh environments; or survey and data analytics, we’re pretty certain there is significant opportunity for technology and innovation transfer between these industries. It also makes sense to work with industries that have been through what the developing offshore wind industry is going through and share experiences and see what can be taken from these industries to save time, mistakes and money on what will be an industry growing off our shores for decades to come.”

Delegates will also be invited to take part in a series of ‘sandpit’ exercises to investigate which of the offshore wind’s major innovation challenges each sector can help to overcome.

Funding and investment options to support new ideas, technologies and collaboration will also be explored.

Innovate UK will be outlining funding opportunities within offshore wind and, in particular, the Infrastructure Systems call launching in January 2017. In addition, eligible businesses can tap into the GBP 6 million SCORE grant fund, which is open to small and medium-sized businesses and offers grants of up to GBP 50,000 for innovative ideas, systems and inventions which cut costs in offshore renewables.

The programme will also outline an overview of the current and future market and opportunities for growth, as well as sessions on driving down costs through innovation and
cross industry innovation.

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