‘World’s First Floating Wind Innovation Centre’ Opens in Scotland

Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has opened the National Floating Wind Innovation Centre (FLOWIC), which is said to be the world’s first dedicated innovation centre for floating offshore wind, in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Scotland’s First Minister, the Rt Hon. Humza Yousaf MSP, opening the National Floating Wind Innovation Centre (FLOWIC); Photo: ORE Catapult via LinkedIn

The GBP 9 million (approximately EUR 10.5 million) FLOWIC, located in Aberdeen’s Energy Transition Zone and delivered by ORE Catapult in collaboration with ETZ Limited, was officially opened by Scotland’s First Minister, the Rt Hon. Humza Yousaf MSP, on 18 March.

ORE Catapult says the centre is designed to help supercharge the development of floating offshore wind technology in the UK, with funding from both the Scottish Government and Innovate UK.

FLOWIC is equipped with several technologies that are aimed at helping accelerate the commercialisation of floating offshore wind.

One of these is a large-scale dynamic cable flex fatigue rig, delivered and installed by the cable installation equipment specialist Osbit, and designed specifically for use in the FLOWIC facility to test and validate the strength, performance and reliability of dynamic subsea cables.

“As well as enabling testing in line with the latest technical industry specifications, this rig is designed to offer both robustness and adaptability, enabling ORE Catapult to adjust and reconfigure testing conditions to suit a large range of verification requirements,” said Martin Jolliffe, Director at Osbit.

FLOWIC also features a large-scale anchor test rig to test dynamic anchoring systems, as well as a floating offshore wind scale motion simulator, or Hexapod, capable of providing dynamic testing of scale structures and electrical and mooring connections in a simulated marine environment.

The centre also has a virtual reality studio to allow engineers to envisage scenarios and challenges likely to be faced in the build-out of future floating wind turbines.


“This facility represents a groundbreaking step forward in the commercialisation of floating offshore wind – a sector that will be critical to meeting our Net Zero targets,” said Andrew Jamieson, Chief Executive at ORE Catapult.

“When you look at the projected global market demand for floating wind technology over the coming years, the opportunity is eye-watering; dynamic cables alone will be a more than £2bn global market over the next decade. Here in the UK we are well placed to play a leading role in that market by developing the supply chain to support the innovations that will bring this potential to life.”

“Others are chasing the same prize though, so the time is right to make sure Scottish and UK companies are at the front of that race, and this facility is a key part of helping that happen,” Jamieson added.

Announcing the opening of the Floating Wind Innovation Centre, ORE Catapult highlighted that there were more than 19 GW of potential projects in the pipeline through the ScotWind leasing process, a new leasing round on the horizon in the Celtic Sea, as well as an opportunity for floating wind to contribute to decarbonising North Sea energy production that was established through the INTOG leasing round.

Related Article

Floating offshore wind represents a huge economic opportunity and the prospect of transferring skills and knowledge from oil and gas to aid the Just Transition, according to ORE Catapult, whose report from 2021 states that floating offshore wind could deliver over GBP 43.6 billion (approx. EUR 51 billion) in UK gross value added (GVA) by 2050, and create more than 29,000 jobs.

“A massive 17GW of planned floating wind projects are within 100 nautical miles of Aberdeen and this market leading facility will have an internationally recognised capability to reduce the costs of energy from these developments supporting the incubation of new products, services and businesses across the energy sector,” said Sir Ian Wood, Chairman of ETZ Ltd.

“We are already seeing a number of supply chain businesses actively transitioning toward offshore wind, creating jobs as they do so, and the operation of this centre will provide greater confidence for them to scale and grow.”


Get in front of your target audience in one move! OffshoreWIND.biz is read by thousands of offshore wind professionals daily.

Follow offshoreWIND.biz on: