By Daniel Hunter

Businesses developing innovative solutions for wave, tidal and offshore wind technologies are to get extra help from the UK’s innovation agency, it was announced today (Wednesday).

Speaking at the European Ocean Energy Conference in Edinburgh, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker revealed that up to £7 million of support will be available through the Technology Strategy Board’s Infrastructure for Offshore Renewables funding competition.

Greg Barker said: “This £7million is a real boost for low carbon innovation and will help businesses develop cutting edge technologies to support our offshore renewables industry.

“Targeting funding in this way will accelerate growth in this sector, help cut the cost of producing clean green power and ultimately enable us to harness even more power from wind and marine devices out at sea."

The competition is designed to help develop supply chains for offshore renewables. A particular feature of this funding call is that it aims to encourage companies from outside the sector to get involved and bring their own specific insights and expertise to bear in this area.

Support will be given to collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects that accelerate the development of innovative infrastructure technologies for the offshore wind, wave and tidal stream industries. There will be a focus on innovations that help reduce the cost of electricity generation.

Reducing the cost of energy generation is a key challenge for the offshore renewable industries, and opportunities exist across the respective supply chains for innovative and cost-cutting technologies.

The themes for the competition are: electrical infrastructure, including high-voltage direct current (HVDC) technologies; support structures; as well as sensors and monitoring.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: “An important aspect of our support for offshore renewable is to bring fresh insights from other sectors into the drive for a sustainable low-carbon future.”

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