OrbisEnergy has launched a GBP 6 million ($8.4 million) funding pot to help East Anglia’s offshore renewable energy industry develop new ideas and technologies, which has the potential to help hundreds of companies and create around 100 new jobs.
The scheme, backed by European cash, will support innovation in small and medium sized ventures across Norfolk, Suffolk, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire and Essex. This latest SCORE fund is more than double the size of the previous GBP 2.5 million ($3.51 million) scheme, which invested in 40 innovative projects, supporting more than 50 companies and creating 70 new jobs.
Johnathan Reynolds, business development lead at Lowestoft-based OrbisEnergy which is managing the grant fund, said in a company statement:
"This region has an enviable pedigree, not only being at the heart of the world’s biggest offshore wind market, but our regional businesses are working on, have worked on, or are supporting almost every offshore wind development across the globe.
"There is world-leading expertise and technology here in the East. It is shaping the future of the industry, and our aim is that our SCORE grants will help local companies be part of that bringing fresh ideas and new technologies which can further reduce the cost of developing offshore wind and ensure the longer-term role that this vital industry will play in securing our future energy needs.
"SMEs are incredibly innovative but often have limited resources, so we want to encourage them to go further, develop and integrate new products and services, position them in the market place and open doors through new contacts which will lead to profitable contracts."
Due to the lower oil price environment, some oilfield services firms are looking at expanding their offerings into the renewables sector. One recent example is Petrofac’s partnership with GE that will see the two firms engineer, construct and install a power system to connect up to 336 megawatts of energy from the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm off the coast of Suffolk, England.
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