New UK Funding Opportunity for Innovative Floating Offshore Wind Technologies

Marine-i has called on businesses in Cornwall to seize the opportunity offered by a new Government funding scheme that will support the development of innovative floating offshore wind technologies.

Marine-i has also offered practical support to these businesses, by providing access to world-class testing facilities and assisting in the formation of new collaborations between companies.

Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i is designed to help the marine technology sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through harnessing the full potential of research and innovation.

The Floating Offshore Wind Demonstration Program is a new funding call which has been announced by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It reflects the UK Government’s target for floating offshore wind to deliver 1GW of energy by 2030.

Floating offshore wind (FLOW) is a fast growing industry worldwide. It enables wind turbines to operate in deeper seas, where the winds are stronger. The Celtic Sea has been identified as one of the best potential sites in Europe.

BEIS is making up to £17.5 million of funding available for this program. The aim is to deliver multiple demonstration projects, which will take place until end of March 2024, and will cover a range of FLOW technology challenges. These include mooring and anchoring, dynamic cables, and floaters and foundations.

Prof Lars Johanning, Program Director for Marine-i, says: “This is an excellent initiative and local marine tech businesses should take full advantage of it. The Marine-i team will offer any assistance they can to these companies in preparing their bids.

“Through the Marine-i project, they can also get access to over 20 world class offshore renewables test facilities, backed up by leading-edge research expertise from the University of Exeter and University of Plymouth. These technology challenges for FLOW may well require a number of businesses to work in collaboration in their delivery. Marine-i is prepared to use its experience in this area to help facilitate the forming of these new consortia.

“Floating offshore wind is poised to be a huge opportunity for Cornwall and the South West. I would urge businesses to start formulating their bids as soon as possible, ahead of the closing date for applications of 18th June 2021.”

About the Floating Offshore Wind Demonstration Program

The Floating Offshore Wind Demonstration Programme is a funding scheme to support the development and demonstration of state of the art technologies and products in the Floating Offshore Wind industry. The programme is part of the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. The Floating Offshore Wind Demonstration Programme seeks the best ideas across these technology areas.

The grant funding scheme will focus on UK based initiatives.

The demonstration projects will focus on mid-technology readiness level (TRL) technologies that are ready to be proved. The programme will target 4 challenge areas:

  1. Mooring/Anchoring
  2. Dynamic cables
  3. Floaters/Foundations
  4. Miscellaneous – areas that meet the programme scope and objectives but are not covered by 1-3. Innovation area driven by industry.

Full details on the programme and how to apply can be seen here.

The Marine-i test facilities that are available to support bids

The Marine-i Project offers businesses access to over 20 outstanding facilities to test and develop their innovation. These can potentially open doors to investment by venture capitalists and angel investors as well as other investment options. The facilities on offer include:

  1. The COAST Laboratory at University of Plymouth
  2. The Falmouth Bay Test Site, an ocean facility to test moorings, components and deployment
  3. The Demonstration Offshore Wind Turbine, the world’s most advanced open access 7MW offshore wind demonstration turbine, situated at Levenmouth

Full details on all the facilities can be seen in the Marine-i Brochure here.

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