With recognition of both the challenges faced by offshore wind in reducing its costs in the medium term in order to compete with other energy sources and the significant effort already being expended to meet those challenges, the first OWIH programme to be launched is the Offshore Wind Innovation Exchange (OWiX).
This bespoke initiative will work directly with offshore wind operators and top-tier suppliers to facilitate access to effective solutions from other sectors, which may help with cost reduction in offshore wind. In doing so, OWIX will also help provide new opportunities for UK businesses to work together and strengthen the national supply chain. This cross-sector approach provides new ways to meet industry challenges and so enhances the depth of support made available to the sector.
The key objectives of the exchange are:
- To enhance the technology pipeline available to meet medium-term cost reduction targets for the offshore wind sector
- To provide new opportunities for UK businesses and innovation stakeholders to enter this global market perhaps for the first time, and
- To align investments in innovation infrastructure such as the Catapult network in order to demonstrate the value of cross-sector working.
We will match these challenges to potential solution providers following a facilitation process, in order to enable commercial sensitivities to be recognised and accommodated. The matching process is complete when short-listed solution providers are introduced to the offshore wind problem owners.
OWiX is currently piloting with an offshore wind operator and a primary manufacturer. Key innovation challenges matching cost reduction and supply chain needs have been identified for this phase with a call-for-ideas expected to open in the summer. Innovative companies from all sectors will be able to submit potential transferable solutions and, if selected, will have an opportunity to work with the OWiX pilot partners to develop them for commercial deployment.
For more information about OWiX, please contact Nee-Joo Teh.