Thirty-two UK companies from the oil and gas, aerospace and defense sectors have joined forces already operating in the renewables field to launch the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) Wind Expert Support Toolkit (WEST) pilot program.
WEST will promote the development of new and emerging offshore wind supply chain companies by offering professional business support, market analysis and industry insight to both existing and cross-sector supply chain companies.
To meet the needs of the sector and create a strong UK supply chain that can meet the growth goals set out in the UK Offshore Wind Sector Deal, there must be a cross-transfer of expertise, skills and technology from other sectors.
This in conjunction with the enhancement of the capacities of existing supply chain companies, is a central priority of the OWGP and the WEST program.
More than 40 companies applied for the program, with the top rating applicants chosen for funding. The program will provide companies with goods and services throughout the entire offshore wind farm lifecycle, from subsea survey and inspection, material and product manufacturing, to protection, maintenance and operational services.
Two waves of WEST operations will begin in December 2020 and January2021, with a total of £200,000 of funding allocated to help businesses.
The OWGP is a vital part of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal between industry and the UK Government and is financed by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) with a budget of £100 million over 10 years.
The program supports the growth of UK companies seeking to capitalize on the huge opportunities presented by the global offshore wind market.
A new tranche of funding from OWIC members has facilitated the development of this new initiative as part of the green economic recovery of the United Kingdom following the global health pandemic of Covid-19.
The selected companies will collaborate with offshore wind and business support experts from around the UK, including 4C Offshore, BVG Associates, Everoze, Lumen Energy & Environment, Opergy, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, RTC North and Xodus Group.
The chosen distribution partners will provide tailor-made and tailored expert advice to their coupled supply chain companies to help accelerate the growth of offshore wind in the United Kingdom.
“I am delighted to see so many ambitious and forward thinking UK companies engaging in the OWGP’s WEST Pilot program. It is a strong statement of intent for OWGP, showing that we will support UK supply chain companies to gain market insight and intelligence to accelerate their growth in and into the sector. I look forward to seeing these organisations flourish and create a stable foundation for UK offshore wind supply chain content.”Martin Whitmarsh, OWGP board chair.
“One of the most important roles of OWGP is to help new companies to enter the offshore wind sector. A lack of specific sector knowledge is frequently cited as a barrier to initial entry and global growth. The WEST program is designed to overcome this by providing access to world-leading experts who can guide and advise companies to enable their growth.”Andrew Macdonald, OWGP program director.
“The Offshore Wind Industry Council is committed to ensuring that UK companies benefit from our world-leading sector, and also the growth of offshore wind globally. On behalf of OWIC I am pleased to see such a diverse range of companies selected for the OWGP’s WEST Program. This activity, like the others OWGP are providing, is vitally important in supporting both existing suppliers to offshore wind, and also supporting suppliers currently serving other industries to sieze the opportunities. WEST will help us deliver against the ambitions set out in the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, and contribute to a green industrial future.”Halfdan Brustad, OWIC sponsor for the OWGP.