Ten companies from the Norfolk and Suffolk region have secured a place in the first intake of the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s industry-backed Fit 4 Offshore Renewables (F4OR) New Anglia Programme.
Having engaged with over 100 companies across Norfolk and Suffolk, the programme received 53 expressions of interest, with 29 companies shortlisted and 10 winning companies selected.
Jointly funded by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, the delivery of F4OR New Anglia was a top priority as part of the Clean Growth Covid-19 Recovery Plan, offering 10 places for innovators in the region, aiming to support the booming local energy supply chain to fuel the growth in offshore renewables and stimulate supply chain mobility and transition during the green economic recovery.
For the 10 winning companies the 12-month business improvement and supply chain growth programme will prepare them to compete for, and secure, contracts at UK offshore wind farms by making them more attractive to offshore renewables’ project developers.
The East of England generates almost half of the existing offshore wind output in the UK, with a pipeline of future projects clearly defined, underling the important role the sector plays as an economic driver regionally, nationally and globally.
The strong interest and engagement in the F4OR New Anglia programme have highlighted the appetite for future technology innovation and supply chain support programmes for the region.
“The Norfolk and Suffolk region is home to some of the largest offshore wind projects in the UK and there is therefore a huge opportunity for local companies to take advantage of the economic opportunities this brings and to build on regional strengths to deliver local content to projects.
“These first 10 companies will benefit from being part of a cohort, increasing industry engagement, growing confidence, raising profile and market awareness. They will be able to develop new relationships, technologies, capabilities and experiences, adding value to the regional and national supply chain.”Andy Holyland, ORE Catapult’s regional innovation manager for East of England.
“We’re delighted to be supporting the F4OR programme. The high quality of applications highlights our region’s very strong energy supply chain and supporting those businesses to grow and innovate will ensure that we can continue to deliver on our ambition to be the UK’s clean growth region.”Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
Developed with input from the offshore renewables industry and based on the successful Fit 4 Nuclear Programme, ORE Catapult developed the F4OR business improvement programme in collaboration with HVM Catapult’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, with the aim of developing an increasingly competent, capable and competitive UK offshore renewable energy supply chain to ensure a strong representation of UK content in domestic projects, as well as supporting a vibrant export market.
The F4OR programme offers the opportunity for offshore wind developers to engage, contribute to and benefit from an initiative that encourages and supports improved supply chain performance. F4OR provides additional industry engagement opportunities for those already in the industry and promotes the cross-sector transfer of technologies.