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OWGP launches first national F4OR programme to grow UK offshore wind supply chain

The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) has launched its latest business transformation activity to support the UK offshore wind supply chain in collaboration with ORE Catapult, Nuclear AMRC and Opergy.

The first national Fit 4 Offshore Renewables (F4OR) Programme, delivered by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and funded by the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP), is seeking applications from ambitious companies who want to get ready to bid for work in the offshore wind sector. The national programme will support 14 companies from across the UK through a rigorous 12-18 month programme focusing on improving business operations and sector competence.

The national programme will build on the success of the  regional F4OR programmes that have been delivered across the UK by ORE Catapult and its partners, Nuclear AMRC and Opergy.  It will bring the total number of companies supported through the programme to 88 with 20 companies having already gained the coveted F4OR Granted status thus far and many more actively progressing towards this milestone. Companies progressing through the F4OR programme typically see an increase in turnover of almost 23%, and job creation up 13%.

Developed with input from the offshore renewables industry and based on the successful Fit For Nuclear programme, ORE Catapult established the F4OR business improvement programme in collaboration with HVM Catapult’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) and supported by Opergy Ltd, with the aim of developing an increasingly competent, capable and competitive UK offshore renewable energy supply chain.

The intermediate level F4OR programme complements the existing suite of business transformation programmes developed and delivered by OWGP and partner organisations, including the Wind Expert Support Toolkit (WEST), a foundation engagement activity, and the advanced Sharing in Growth Offshore Wind Programme.

Andrew Macdonald, OWGP Programme Director said: “The launch of the F4OR Programme in partnership with ORE Catapult, NAMRC and Opergy is a fantastic step forward, bolstering our suite of Business Transformation Programmes supporting the growth of the UK Offshore Wind supply chain. This initiative is complementary to our existing programmes and ensures we can provide progressive support to companies as they grow and increase their capability delivering to the sector. I’m looking forward to seeing the development of the selected companies and opportunities which arise for them on completion of the F4OR Programme.”

Andrew Stormonth-Darling, F4OR Programme Manager for ORE Catapult added: “Seeing our successful regional programme being launched on a national scale is just what is needed to open the doors to any promising business from across the country. Our regional initiatives have been heavily oversubscribed so by working with the OWGP it now means we can tap into talent, wherever it emerges.  This allows us to focus on supporting the entry and growth of the most committed businesses with the most in-demand products and services. I look forward to seeing how this new cohort will not only build capability, but also share it, via newly formed relationships that will ultimately help establish and maintain a stable UK offshore wind supply chain long into the future.”

The OWGP supports the delivery of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal and is funded by members of the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), with a budget of £100m over ten years.  Delivered by ORE Catapult, the programme supports the growth of UK businesses looking to capitalise on the huge opportunities offered by the global offshore wind sector.

Over 100 companies have now received support through either grant funding or business transformation initiatives since the launch of OWGP in 2019.  Further information on this and all Grant Funding and Business Transformation programmes can be found at the OWGP website https://owgp.org.uk/