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Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult announces first Launch Academy in East Anglia

L-R: David Terry from RWE, James Battensby from ORE Catapult, Ian Gregory from Norfolk County Council, Abi Nunns and William Coulet from EXO Engineering.

Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult

4 min read Partner content

Nine companies across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex are embarking on an award-winning technology accelerator programme to pioneer new products and services for the UK’s offshore renewable energy sector – launching today (Tuesday) in Norwich.

This is the first time the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult have run their flagship Launch Academy programme in the East of England – a region that is one of the UK’s largest offshore renewable energy hubs.

The regional programme has been developed following the success of previous national and regional Launch Academy programmes that have supported 38 companies and raised over £22 million of investment since 2019.

Imogen Stevenson, Innovation Manager at ORE Catapult, said: “It’s fantastic to see the huge amount of talent and innovation emerging from the East of England, which could play a vital role in supporting the significant offshore wind industry in the region and beyond.

“While the programme is led by ORE Catapult, Launch Academy East of England is driven by commitment from our regional partners. It is this ongoing collaborative approach that is critical to supporting companies and their much-needed innovation disrupting the UK’s offshore industry.”

Funding for the programme has been provided by ORE Catapult, leading offshore wind developer RWE, Norfolk County Council, Essex County Council and Suffolk County Council, with pro bono support provided by Marks & Clerk, Birketts and Lovewell Blake.

Exo Engineering in Norfolk is developing eco-reefs that provide underwater protection for offshore wind infrastructure such as turbine foundations, while supporting a variety of marine life, and is one of the companies chosen for the regional programme.

William Coulet, Managing Director at Exo Engineering, said: “The Launch Academy East of England programme will inform us of sector specific requirements within the offshore renewables industry. We are raring to expand our team’s market knowledge and improve our offering. Our company places the customer at the centre of our solutions, therefore clearly understanding their perspective is pivotal. We aim to expand our business in the offshore renewables sector and Launch Academy will help us gain the traction we need to succeed.”

The Launch Academy programme will run from now until December 2023 and the companies will each receive support worth up to £25,000.

Each of the innovators will receive support on their journey to commercialise their product or service, including robots for offshore wind turbine maintenance, recycling wind turbine blades using waterjet technology, and development of carbon capture devices.

The six-month Launch Academy programme will include tailored support modules, delivered by ORE Catapult and expert partners. These include legal, marketing, export, accountancy, intellectual property (IP), investor readiness, technology assessment, and business case reviews.

The first cohort for Launch Academy East of England includes:

LA East of England company

Location Technology
Extend Robotics

Martlesham, Suffolk

Robots for internal nacelle maintenance in offshore turbines to complete basic technical tasks reducing the need for wind turbine technician interference that are VR controlled.

Fern Communications Ltd

Lowestoft,
Suffolk

Low-cost automatic real time people tracking utilising a new to industry technology which seamlessly integrates with existing MMS systems.

Recyclatrack Ltd

Beccles,
Suffolk

Recycling and material separation of wind turbine blades using ultra high pressure waterjet technology.
Exo Engineering Int. Ltd.

Norwich,
Norfolk

Development of eco-reefs that provide scour protection for offshore infrastructure, such as cable routes and turbine foundations, with 90% recycled materials to mitigate carbon use and retain ocean habitats.
Urban XR Norwich, Norfolk Mixed reality headsets to create a digital rehearsal of concept game area for offshore applications which can be viewed in real time via headsets or screens for large teams.
Aquaterra Energy Ltd

Norwich,
Norfolk

Embedded fibre optic condition monitoring in offshore wind, specifically for concrete foundations in floating offshore wind structures.
Front Technologies Ltd Loughton, Essex Robotic system with combined shearography and thermography capabilities for subsurface defect detection and quantification.
Mission Zero Technologies Ingatestone, Essex Modular direct air carbon capture device using excess power produced by offshore wind farms.
Haven Dredging Harwich, Essex Tiamat dredging device to pump silt back into the water column, utilising tide and currents to displace sediment and promote self-replenishment of the estuarine system.
Launch Academy East of England cohort
Launch Academy East of England cohort

 

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