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UK targets offshore innovation

UPDATE: £1.3m for offshore hub part of £28m for innovative projects

UK targets offshore innovation image

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is investing up to £1.3m in a new offshore wind innovation hub, which aims to bring industry together to innovate and reduce the cost of energy from the sector.

The hub will be jointly delivered by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and the Knowledge Transfer Network, BEIS said.

It will provide a “coordinated approach” to offshore wind innovation, consulting with industry to define innovation priorities and informing government of sector priorities, ORE Catapult said.

The hub will also convene industry to respond to funding calls most effectively and promote industry priorities and successes through domestic and international platforms.

Its first programme will be the Offshore Wind Innovation Exchange.

This will be a cross-sector initiative to “accelerate the cost reduction of energy from offshore wind by matching industry challenges with innovative solutions adopted from other parts of the economy to provide new opportunities for UK businesses”, BEIS said.

The hub will soon launch an online platform, which will include a technology roadmap of UK offshore wind innovation priorities and a comprehensive view of the funding landscape.

Knowledge Transfer Network energy systems lead Nee-Joo The said: “We believe that we can really help to make offshore wind energy more sustainable through a cross-sectoral platform targeting transferable, innovation solutions from other industries.”

The funding is part of £28m the government announced today for innovative projects to help bring down energy costs.

Up to £9m will be spent on a competition to reduce the cost of energy storage, with as much as £7.6m available for advancing energy demand side response technologies.

A further £9m will be spent on a competition to boost industrial energy efficiency, it added.

Minister for Climate Change and Industry Nick Hurd said: “Innovation in energy will play an important role to shape our low carbon future to rebuild an outdated energy system.

“That’s why we’ve increased our financial support, helping to create jobs and opportunities for people across the UK.”

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