The Knowledge Transfer Network has launched a new £3m funding initiative to boost companies looking to accelerate operation and maintenance technology innovation.
GROW:OffshoreWind aims to support and develop technologies that would strengthen the UK’s long-term offshore wind supply chain needs.
It will focus on equipping firms to provide components and services for the maintenance of wind turbines, substations, marine vessels and environmental analysis.
The funding call will be open until June 20 for both large and SME-level manufacturers to formally express their interest.
Based on UK Government projections, the O&M opportunity linked to offshore wind could be worth more than £2bn per annum by 2025.
Analysis also indicates significant scope for UK content within this expenditure, with a 2012 report indicating that the UK O&M content of the Robin Rigg wind farm in the Solway Firth was 86%.
Richard Ousey, investment panel lead at GROW:OffshoreWind, said the industry presents a clear market opportunity for manufacturers.
“Applicants can get a wide variety of support, including Technology Partners who will help with delivery, personnel costs and help towards instruments and equipment, buildings and land associated with the project,” he said.
“I’m anticipating a high level of interest in the funding and encourage companies to take advantage – there’s significant opportunity in the market and this support will help to unlock potential.”
Dr Nee-Joo Teh, Head of Renewable Energy at KTN which was independently established by the Technology Strategy Board, added: “We believe the strength of UK innovation offers a significant opportunity to continue the growth of indigenous content in our offshore wind energy supply chain.
“We’ve made the process as simple and straightforward as possible so applicants could potentially be accessing funding by the end of July. I’m anticipating a high level of interest in the funding and encourage companies to take advantage – there’s significant opportunity in the market and this support will help to unlock potential.”