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The Port of Tyne and Equinor have been announced as partners in the North East Energy Catalyst network.
The two companies joined the ground-breaking partnership that brings together the North East’s leading energy innovation, demonstration and delivery capabilities to work towards shared goals.
The Catalyst was set up in 2019 to invite and co-ordinate engagement with industry and business, promoting opportunities available in the North East to diversify, commercialise new solutions, and to deliver regional growth and employment across the energy sector.
Offshore innovator Equinor is part of the joint venture behind the world’s biggest offshore wind farm Dogger Bank. It recently announced plans to build a new Operations and Maintenance (O&M) base at the Port of Tyne, supporting the Port’s ‘Tyne 2050’ strategy to become one of the most environmentally sustainable ports in the UK by 2030.
Tom Nightingale, North East Stakeholder Manager at Equinor, said: “We are delighted to become part of the North East Energy Catalyst’s partner network, joining the region’s leading energy innovators.
“The broad range of assets and organisations we can access presents exciting opportunities for collaboration and research in offshore wind and the wider energy space. The Catalyst aims to solve innovation challenges and support the development of the offshore wind industry in the UK and beyond, aligning with our goals as a developer with offshore wind activities globally.
Dr Jo North, Technology and Transformation Director at the Port of Tyne, said: “Having collaborated with the North East Energy Catalyst in several exciting and beneficial ventures, the Port of Tyne is delighted to cement this relationship by joining the Energy Catalyst Partner Network.
“The port and the 2050 Innovation Hub are firm believers in open innovation and continual dialogue with like-minded, cross sector organisations.
“The North East Energy Catalyst acts as a conduit for collaborative partnership development, bringing organisations together to work towards shared visions and goals. The Catalyst has been extremely proactive in bringing partners and solution providers to the port and receptive to approaches for help and support when needed.”
Facilitated by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the partnership includes Newcastle University; Durham University; Northumbria University; Zero Carbon Futures (a subsidiary of Gateshead College); Northern Powergrid; Northern Gas Networks; the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult which has test facilities at Blyth; the British Engines Group; the Innovation SuperNetwork; Northumbrian Water; the North of Tyne Combined Authority; and the North East Combined Authority.
Together, they are working to tackle major energy challenges and deliver on national policy; drive new economic growth opportunities; accelerate regional decarbonisation; and foster engagement with partners.
David Lynch, Energy Innovation Partnership Manager at the North East LEP, said: “Both Port of Tyne and Equinor are at the forefront of the offshore wind revolution and play a pivotal role in our shared goal of creating a green and resilient economy, as well as reaching our target of net zero emissions.
“Along with our other key partners, we are delighted to welcome Port of Tyne and Equinor to the North East Energy Catalyst.”
The initiative follows the identification of energy innovation and demonstration as a key theme within North East LEP’s Energy for Growth strategy, which aims to drive economic growth in the North East while also bringing sector partners together to deliver on national energy strategy.
Energy was identified as an area of key importance in the North East Strategic Economic Plan, with the potential to bring investment and jobs to the North East.
Read more about the North East Energy Catalyst here.