Twenty-eight UK businesses are ready to reap the rewards from the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s industry-leading Fit 4 Offshore Renewables (F4OR) business improvement and supply chain growth programme.
The latest regional F4OR programmes, covering North East Scotland and North East England, received over 80 expressions of interest, with 28 winning companies selected (16 in the north east of Scotland; 12 in North East England).
That brings the total number of companies being supported through the Programme to 53, with 25 companies already granted or on the journey through existing programmes in Scotland, Norfolk and Suffolk.
The regional Programmes are funded by Opportunity North East (ONE) in Scotland and, in the North East of England, F4OR is part of a range of business support activities co-funded by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership as part of the North East England Technology, Innovation and Green Growth for Offshore Renewables (TIGGOR) programme, itself funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority.
The Programmes will support the booming regional energy supply chain to fuel the growth in offshore renewables and stimulate supply chain mobility and transition during the green economic recovery.
For the successful cohorts, 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 recent ScotWind leasing round requires that, at bid stage, developers commit to 25% local content in their projects, up from 10% originally, making it more vital than ever that we build and develop the skills, capability and experience of the regional supply chain to deliver UK content to offshore wind projects and meet the UK Government’s levelling up agenda.
Andrew Stormonth-Darling, ORE Catapult’s F4OR Programme Manager, said: “The UK’s offshore wind sector is on a sharp growth trajectory as we aim to meet UK Government targets of 40 GW by 2030, and at least 75 GW by 2050 to achieve Net Zero. This translates to a huge opportunity for the UK supply chain to grab a significant slice of this market, from manufacturing right through to operations and maintenance of these future wind farms, creating jobs and economic benefit for the UK. With a strong UK content requirement built into the recently announced ScotWind leasing round, it’s now more important than ever to support our indigenous supply chain to win contracts with the new generation of UK offshore windfarm developments.”
Andy Rodden, Energy Transition Programme Director – Offshore Renewables, Opportunity North East said: “The positive response to the programme shows the ambition and enthusiasm from the supply chain to embrace the massive opportunity presented by offshore wind. The Energy Transition Zone in Aberdeen, which has received significant backing from both governments, is a strong vote of confidence in the region’s proven ability and unique position to accelerate the delivery of net zero and play a key role in the green economic recovery. Key activities to be developed are likely to include offshore wind high value manufacturing and marshalling and assembly and a floating offshore wind centre of excellence. With the ETZ as focal point for energy transition activities and manufacturing presence, the F4OR programme will ensure ambitious north east businesses are ready to tender and work closely with offshore renewable developers to develop solutions and make the region a frontrunner in offshore renewables.”
Colin Bell, Business and Sector Growth Director at the North East LEP said: “The Fit 4 Offshore Renewables (F4OR) Programme continues to be instrumental in realigning our local supply chain to benefit from rapid growth of our offshore energy sector. The Government has set ambitious Net Zero targets out to 2050, this programme ensures regional supply chains are equipped and well positioned to match the scale of that ambition.”
Andrew Macdonald, Programme Director of the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership said: “OWGP has worked with the NE LEP to develop a range of offshore wind focussed business support activities. F4OR will ensure that the twelve companies on the programme are ready to bid for and win contracts.”
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 and Opergy Ltd, 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.
Read the full list of F4OR cohorts here.