“Innovation is central to the broader ambition of the UK remaining at the industry’s cutting edge. Finding new and exciting ways of working more efficiently, effectively, and safely, and delivering novel solutions to the sector, ensures that UK businesses are more competitive in an ever-growing global marketplace. The pace of growth is so astounding that this is simply an opportunity that cannot be missed, and in supporting innovation the UK can ensure that more high skilled jobs are created and that the products and services established can be exported around the world.”
Workstream Sponsor Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult
Innovation has been at the heart of collaborative work across the OWIC workstreams to ensure new ways of thinking and ideas are implemented across the board. Supported by the Offshore Wind Innovation Hub’s Technical Advisory Group and ‘Innovation Roadmaps’, the innovation workstream looks to ensure that the sector’s innovation priorities are captured within OWIC’s work.
Collaboration across the OWIC community has included investigation of data and digital innovation opportunities central to offshore wind deployment and consenting, an area of focus for the ‘Pathways to Growth’ workstream.
Having the necessary national skillset is essential to enabling innovation and underpinning this will be understanding the future innovation skills requirements of the sector, a task being initiated in support of the OWIC People and Skills workstream.
From an international perspective the team’s innovation priorities have been reviewed against those of ETIP Wind (European Technology and Innovation Platform) the body that defines and agrees on concrete research and innovation (R&I) priorities and communicates these to European institutions. This has proven the accuracy of sector innovation priorities in the UK.
Looking ahead, the innovation workstream aims to identify what gaps currently exist in available innovation support and determine what a comprehensive and targeted innovation support programme would constitute. Enabling innovation is a complex equation involving research, funding, contacts, test facilities, commercialisation support and more, but it can have real impact on building a high value supply chain of tomorrow.