• News
  • Press Releases
  • Wind

Ten UK tech innovators embark on award winning offshore wind accelerator programme

Ten UK companies poised to take the offshore wind industry by storm have joined the national Launch Academy, an award-winning technology acceleration programme, from the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult.

Launch Academy kicked off its latest national nine-month programme in Newcastle today (Wednesday) with companies from across the UK developing technology solutions to address some of the most significant challenges within offshore wind.

Technology solutions from the winning companies include subsea noise mitigation, floating offshore wind cable connection systems and an AI-based health monitoring system for wind turbine blades.

Ravneet Kaur, Senior Technology Acceleration Manager at ORE Catapult, said: “We are delighted to have 10 exciting new companies starting a Launch Academy journey with us – aiming to de-risk and validate their technology and make a real impact on the offshore wind industry.

“It is also fantastic to have the support and sponsorship of industry giants RWE, bp and ScottishPower Renewables on the programme to link technology solutions to industry challenges and advise the businesses we have on board.Launch Academy provides a platform for businesses to develop their technology or services, access mentoring and expertise, secure funding, and collaborate with industry leaders. We aim to create a vibrant ecosystem that fosters innovation and accelerates the commercialisation of cutting-edge technologies that benefit offshore renewable industry and the UK’s supply chain.”

Since 2020, 47 companies have progressed through the regional and national programmes, over £33m of investment and grant funding has been raised and 48 patents have been filed. The latest national Launch Academy programme will run from now until December 2024 and is sponsored by leading industry heavyweights RWE, bp and ScottishPower Renewables.

Winning company Crondall Energy, based in Southampton, is developing an online mooring integrity management platform focused on estimating mooring line fatigue.

Joel Maisey, Energy Transition Manager at Crondall Energy, said: “We are delighted to be part of ORE Catapult’s Launch Academy as we bring the SAFEMOOR platform to market.

“SAFEMOOR will provide a fully integrated online mooring integrity management platform, for floating offshore wind. The purpose of SAFEMOOR is to estimate mooring line fatigue and performance in real time, to reduce visual inspection, improve reliability, and gather data to improve future mooring line designs. 

“We believe this will be a real game changer for offshore wind developers. With the support of Launch Academy, Crondall Energy will soon be able to introduce this innovation to the offshore wind industry through a prototype program. We look forward to following the Launch Academy process with ORE Catapult.”

Another winning company Pulcea, based in Blyth, is developing a solution to mitigate against subsea noise created by offshore wind farm installation.

Ian Armstrong, Managing Director at Pulcea, said: “The Pulcea team are delighted that we were accepted onto the Launch Academy programme as this will significantly enhance our drive towards commercialisation. The access it provides to the three offshore wind sponsors will prove to be a significant help in providing timely industry guidance at this critical stage of our development.”   

The nine-month programme will deliver bespoke support through a series of 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 – worth up to £60,000 per company. At the end of the programme, companies also have the chance to pitch to ORE Catapult’s network of private investors and industry.

To find out more about Launch Academy 2024, please click here