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New UK-US collaboration

Published:  24 April, 2024

Applications opened on 18 April 2024 for a unique project that could expand the US market for innovative UK companies developing technology which can help support the growing floating offshore wind market in the United States.

The ‘UK-US Floating Offshore Wind Supply Chain Innovation Bilateral (FLOWB)’ supply chain programme brings together the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and Innovate UK, with US partners including University of Maine and NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory). Together they will support UK companies developing exportable technologies to team up with floating wind platform developers in the US and benefit from up to a £1.5 million funding pot.

ORE Catapult, NREL and University of Maine have identified four emerging technical innovation challenges that UK companies are ideally placed to solve. Up to five companies will be chosen through a competitive process to each receive grant funding ranging between £300,000 and £500,000 as well as bespoke technical support from ORE Catapult for 18 months. Chosen companies will engage with the US partners to develop new and innovative technologies or adapt pre-existing technologies that can be used in testing and demonstration projects.

Dr. Stephen Wyatt, Director of Strategy and Emerging Technologies at ORE Catapult, said: “This is a hugely exciting opportunity for companies in the UK to engage with floating offshore wind platform developers in the US - identifying technical and commercial gaps where they can work together and leverage the UK’s early floating supply chain experience. UK companies will be able to support the leading floating wind developers in the US and both will benefit from shared learning in this expanding and dynamic area of offshore wind.”

Roger Townsend, Innovation Lead – Energy at Innovate UK, said: “We are pleased to support ORE Catapult to extend our relationship on floating offshore wind R&D, a sector which will play an increasingly important role in delivering a decarbonised energy system.

“The US offshore wind market potential is high, with some ambitious targets being set at state and federal level. To achieve these targets, innovation and international collaboration will be key. With their knowledge and experience, UK innovators and supply chain partners are well placed to play a key part in the development of the US offshore wind sector. This programme provides UK innovators and supply chain partners with a significant opportunity to collaborate on critical R&D, leading to UK export opportunities.”

Dr Anthony Viselli, Chief Engineer, Ocean Energy and Engineering, University of Maine, said: “USA University, UMaine, has a 400+ person engineering center and is a global leader for concrete floating wind foundation technology. We are excited to work with the UK supply chain through this ORE Catapult collaboration to develop cost-effective solutions for US and UK developers.”

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