The Offshore Wind Innovation Hub (OWIH), announced on 25 January at the Rushlight Show Cleantech Conference by Nick Hurd, Minister for Climate Change and Industry, has launched its first programme, the Offshore Wind Innovation Exchange (OWIX).

OWIX aims to accelerate cost reduction in offshore wind by matching industry challenges with innovative solutions adapted from other sectors of the economy. It will provide new opportunities for UK business across industries and ensure an affordable, low-carbon energy supply. It is the first in a series of activities planned for the Innovation Hub.

Delivered jointly by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network, the Offshore Wind Innovation Hub will be the UK’s primary coordinating body for offshore wind innovation.

Dr Stephen Wyatt, Director of Strategy & Commercialisation at ORE Catapult, said: “As announced this week, the Levelised Cost of Energy of offshore wind is now below the joint UK Government/industry target of £100 per megawatt hour by 2020, four years ahead of schedule. This is great news for the industry, and we must continue the momentum of driving down costs and facilitating UK market growth.”

OWIH will help UK companies access funding in order to progress new technology solutions for the UK market and ensure that the UK’s world-class technologies and services are promoted internationally. This will drive exports and amplify the UK’s leading global position in offshore wind.

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.

Dr Nee-Joo Teh, Energy Systems Lead at the Knowledge Transfer Network, said: “With OWIX, we are working with offshore wind companies to learn about their greatest challenges. 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. We hope to leverage the unique reach of all of the Catapults in engaging with the business community.”

Dr Wyatt added: “The OWIH and OWIX will be critical tools in drawing new disruptive technologies into the sector from the UK’s most innovative companies, and in bringing industry together to align behind the sector’s innovation priorities.”

More information on the Offshore Wind Innovation Hub and the Offshore Wind Innovation Exchange can be found at here, or please contact:

Katharine Rooney, Content & PR Manager, Knowledge Transfer Network, 07964 563715

Lee Madigan, Head of Communications, ORE Catapult, 0333 004 1405