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ORE Catapult’s flagship technology accelerator programme opens for new companies pursuing offshore wind success

Posted on 06 November 2023

ORE Catapult’s flagship technology accelerator programme opens for new companies pursuing offshore wind success

An award-winning technology acceleration programme from the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult opens for new applications from ambitious companies today (Monday).

The national Launch Academy supports early-stage companies as they progress into the UK’s offshore wind supply chain and is now an industry recognised programme. To date, Launch Academy has supported 47 companies, raised £22.6m in private investment, £6.5m in grant funding and had 48 patents filed through both the national and regional Launch Academy programmes across the UK since 2020.

The 2024 programme will be sponsored by offshore wind industry giants RWE, bp and ScottishPower Renewables. Uniquely, the sponsors set challenges pertinent to the offshore wind industry that are used to select 10 companies for the programme, and successful companies benefit from engaging with these industry experts throughout the nine-month Launch Academy journey.

Stephen Wyatt, Director of Strategy and Emerging Technologies at ORE Catapult, said: “Launch Academy has successfully supported businesses across the whole of the UK on their journey towards success in the offshore wind supply chain, and the programme continues to go from strength to strength. This year, ORE Catapult is offering increased levels of technical support alongside our business growth modules, and I am delighted to welcome RWE, bp and Scottish Power Renewables as industry sponsors for Launch Academy 2024 – providing strong industry insight and market connectivity for successful applicants.”

The companies chosen for Launch Academy will be aiming to commercialise new products or services specifically for the offshore wind market, with support from the programme sponsors.

Tamsyn Rowe, RWE Project Lead for Awel y Môr, said: “RWE has been on the forefront of innovation in renewables for decades, developing the UK’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm, North Hoyle, off the north Wales coast. We have continued to innovate and drive progress in the industry, developing one of the largest pipelines globally. 

“In Wales, this is set to continue where our commercial offshore wind journey started, with Awel y Môr poised to be the biggest investment in renewable energy here this decade, putting the country right at the cutting edge of the energy transition. 

“By partnering with this years’ Launch Academy programme, we are emphasising that innovation is at the heart of our Offshore Wind development ambitions.”

Emily Spearman, Head of Technology and Methodology Offshore Wind at bp, said: “This is our third year supporting Launch Academy and year after year we continue to be hugely impressed with the level of talent. We are really pleased to continue to support this leading technology acceleration programme and look forward to identifying and developing the best new UK technology businesses in the offshore wind sector.”

Ángela Angulo, Offshore Wind Head of Innovation for ScottishPower Renewables, said: “ScottishPower Renewables is committed to developing the UK supply chain, which is crucial in supporting a Net Zero future. The national Launch Academy is an exciting opportunity to work with companies that are developing cutting-edge technologies needed to achieve our ambitious targets. As a partner to this year’s Launch Academy and given the success of previous cohorts, we’re looking forward to seeing what innovations will support the way we plan, develop, and run offshore wind projects.” 

Companies can apply from today until the deadline of Wednesday 8 December by clicking here

More information on Launch Academy will be available at a Launch Academy 2024 Briefing Webinar on Friday 10 November. Click here to find out more and sign up.