The issue that OWiX is designed to solve
OWiX works closely with offshore wind industrials to identify high priority challenges that can be taken to other sectors for UK companies to solve.
OWiX is provided under the Offshore Wind Innovation Hub, funded by Innovate UK and delivered by the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), with support from the ORE Catapult.
Offshore wind challenges
OEMs and utility companies have:
- Confidential engineering challenges to solve with no time to explore markets
- Low exposure to companies outside the offshore wind supply chain
Solutions from other sector
Solution providers find it difficult to:
- Find the right person within a target customer’s organisation
- Prove the value proposition of products
- Understand customer’s time constraints
companies are progressing with live demonstration projects with an OEM and a utility company with a further two pending
applications across seven challenges in two competitions
UK businesses are now developing technology funding applications for their technologies, 4 of which are working with ORE Catapult
UK companies were given the opportunity to pitch their idea to an OEM and a utility company, all of which were new to both organisations
How OWiX helped a UK SME. The following is a real story but the name of the Turbine OEM has been altered to respect confidentiality.
John – A turbine OEM*
John needed a solution for blade inspection and was stuck with the same set of companies he sees everyday.
Adam, Intrepid Minds – A solution provider
Adam had a sensor solution that can reduce the cost of maintaining an asset.
He had little traction for his technology in offshore wind and could not get the financial support he needed without industrial backing.
1 - John approached OWiX with a challenge
“A solution for the reliable detection, monitoring and capture of evidence of damage and flaws in the top layer of composite structures, performed internally within a restricted environment with minimal human intervention”
2 - OWiX translated John’s challenge
John worked with OWiX to find a solution for inspecting blades during turbine operation, a common challenge across the industry. The KTN ran a translational workshop with its Knowledge Transfer Managers (KTMs) from different sectors and with technical support from the ORE Catapult.
This helped John break down the challenge into its root problems and ensured a common understanding when promoted to other sectors, as well as anonymity.
“Whilst our R&D team have used other European ‘scouting services’ previously, they have been impressed with the process of OWiX, the expert knowledge and assistance provided by KTN and ORE Catapult, and the ability of OWiX to reach out across other Industry Sectors and to look at a broad range of possible solutions.”
3 - OWiX took the challenge to other sectors and coached different applicants
OWiX has two sets of customers. It helps John solve his challenges and also helps many companies to access the offshore wind market. It promoted John’s challenge throughout KTN networks into many different relevant sectors.
The KTN then coached interested solution providers on the challenge and the exact requirements of the solution, educating where necessary on the sector and eventually preparing them for meetings.
“The majority of OEM R&D community is based outside the UK, and historically would not automatically look to the UK for Innovation partners.
The OWiX scheme provides an effective introduction to potential UK Innovation partners, and so whilst providing a valuable service to ‘challenge owners’ such as [OEM], also helps promote innovation capabilities within the UK.”
4 - OWiX found Adam and supported him with an OWiX application
The KTN found Adam and thought he had something valuable to offer. Adam made an application to OWiX, which is a very short online application form.
Adam struck a balance between providing enough information for his idea to be assessed while not making the application effort overly high or disclosing too much of his intellectual property.
This stage was an iterative process with KTN supporting throughout.
“Through our engagement with OWIX and the KTN Intrepid Minds have been able to pitch ideas with real world, critical business impact to world leading renewable energy end users”
5 - Adam was chosen by John and the ORE Catapult is supporting a demonstration project
Adam was chosen to meet John. This was an opportunity for Adam to pitch to the right person at the right time. He is now progressing with the development of his technology, supported by John and the ORE Catapult.
Interest from John has added weight to innovation funding applications. It proves Adam is on the right track and that a customer is interested to buy a final solution.
“Being an independent expert group, OWIX and the KTN are ideally positioned to support the work Intrepid Minds and the turbine OEM are looking to do together”