OWiX is a cross-sector pilot scheme that was launched to accelerate the cost reduction of offshore wind by matching industry challenges with innovative solutions adapted from other parts of the economy. In doing so, it will open up targeted opportunities for UK businesses across different industries to deliver into the renewable energy supply chain. Businesses can apply to OWiX for a chance to pitch technology ideas and projects directly to OEMs and wind farm operators.
A series of ‘guided innovation’ workshops has already been held by the OWiX programme team in order to address near-term issues, helping to make a substantial difference to the cost of operating wind farms and newly constructed Round 2 and 3 developments. The current ‘call for ideas’ is therefore seeking solutions to four specific innovation challenges rather than fundamental design changes. Each challenge has been carefully translated into a generic innovation needs statement accompanied by specific requirements, targeted at innovative SMEs and other potential partners/suppliers which may be operating in markets or sectors that are completely different to offshore wind power generation.
Innovation Challenge 1 calls for a solution for the reliable detection, monitoring and capture of evidence of damage and flaws in the top layer of composite structures, performed internally within a restricted environment with minimal human intervention.
Innovation Challenge 2 focuses on a solution non-destructive subsurface structural inspection of large composite wind turbine blade structures, at height in a marine environment, delivered safely and cost-effectively.
Innovation Challenge 3 is concerned with the transfer and replacement of very heavy and complex large components, at height, in dynamic offshore weather conditions.
Innovation Challenge 4 is seeking a system to assure the quality of service and maintenance work and the condition of human operators through data communication and real-time decision making in a demanding and remote location.
Businesses interested in meeting these challenges have been asked to carefully review the technical and operational specifications in detail, particularly paying attention to the deployment timescales and cost target associated with each specification. The call for ideas will close on Friday 11th August 2017 and each application will be screened by the OWiX project team. Successful applicants will be informed by 25th August and invited to attend a relationship-building workshop with the key stakeholders, specifically operators and OEMs, with the aim of establishing routes to further develop potential solutions under collaborative or commercial arrangements.
The workshop will be held on a date in September 2017 to be determined.
The Offshore Wind Innovation Hub is the UK’s primary coordinator for innovation, focusing on offshore wind energy cost reduction and maximising UK economic impact. Funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and delivered jointly by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), the Hub presents UK offshore wind innovation priorities, supply chain growth opportunities and a comprehensive view of the funding landscape.