Partnering with ORE Catapult for Launch Academy innovation accelerator

RWE seeking innovators in three key challenge areas: autonomous technologies for offshore wind; bird measurement and mitigation, and cable monitoring and protection. 

  • 20 October 2022

Join webinar to hear RWE experts explain the key challenge areas

RWE’s largest offshore wind farm in construction, Sofia, has joined other key industry sponsors to take part in Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s technology acceleration programme, which has so far raised £9 million for offshore wind entrepreneurs whose companies have taken on 50 new staff since it began in 2019.

Applications for this year’s Launch Academy are now open and as one of the industry sponsors, RWE will seek to attract UK companies to respond to three priority offshore wind industry challenges that require innovative thinking and solutions.

The three challenges are:

• Autonomous technologies for offshore wind: Use of autonomous vehicles including drones, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and integration of these technologies into the operations and maintenance of offshore wind farms

• Bird monitoring and protection: Technical solutions to measure and reduce ecological impact of wind farm construction and operation on birds

• Cables: Solutions for improved cable monitoring and protection to reduce failures, risk and costs, including cable protection systems at turbines and offshore substations.

Innovators wanting to find out more about the three challenges can join a Zoom webinar hosted by NOF/Energi Coast on Friday, 4 November at 11am. They can also hear from one of the Academy's alumni: MJR Power & Automation (Clean Offshore) at the event. Link to register here.

Since Launch Academy began, 20 companies have progressed through the nine-month programme that focuses on accelerating technology within the offshore renewables industry. It is designed to enhance the UK’s offshore wind supply chain, enable greater UK content and support cost reduction through innovation.

Successful companies receive support worth around £25,000, assisting them to grow and develop their technology and business, and commercialise their solutions. It is hoped that the results will enable cross industry learning and shared experiences by participants.  

RWE Director of Engineering, Phillipa Slater, commented, “RWE has one of the strongest offshore wind development pipelines in the world, and as such will need to be at the forefront of innovation, ensuring the company goes beyond the conventional and supports the drive for sustainability for itself and the broader offshore wind sector.”

 “Through our partnership with ORE Catapult for this year’s Launch Academy we have chosen three specific challenge themes that we see as having a real potential to make a difference while supporting innovation in the UK supply chain and playing a role in the commercialisation of a potential gamechanger.”

Supply chain companies with innovations, ideas or new ways of looking at the challenge themes are encouraged to join the webinar on Friday 4 November, with entries due by Wednesday 30 November 2022.