Sintons supports offshore renewable energy accelerator


An offshore renewable energy accelerator is launching in the North East with a promise to invest £20,000 in successful firms.

The Cleantech Offshore Renewables Accelerator is part of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s (OREC) national Launch Academy, which will be run out of TusPark Newcastle Eagle Labs, from its base on Newcastle’s Grainger Street.

It has been designed to grow early stage SMEs from across the North East’s offshore wind supply chain and drive cost reduction by promoting innovation.

Cleantech and offshore renewable firms are being invited to join the accelerator, with successful applicants receiving £20,000 worth of investment.

The course will span 12 weeks and will give entrepreneurs access to a wide range of support from specialist companies. It will guide the SMEs through nine core modules, including IP, accountancy, and investor readiness support. OREC will also deliver a number of modules in areas such as technology assessment, supply chain readiness, and business case review.

At the end of the programme the entrepreneurs will then pitch their final cleantech solution to the accelerator’s partners.

Colin Tan, director of operations at TusPark Newcastle Eagle Labs, said: “TusPark is excited to be organising this accelerator together with Northstar Ventures and take our partnership with OREC to new heights. This follows upon our international work to help establish them in Yantai city, in China.

“The world already recognises North East England’s sectoral strength in offshore renewable energy, and this program is focused on finding, investing in, and growing early-stage tech companies in this sector, and contributes to the Cleantech sector as a whole.”

The programme will focus on four main areas: digitalisation and application of digital twins; next-generation predictive maintenance; smart O&M robotics and AI; and energy system management for offshore.

The selected companies will also gain access to one-to-one coaching as well as free co-working space at TusPark.

A number of other businesses have also partnered with the accelerator to provide support to those involved. These firms include Royal IHC, EDF, Sintons, and Blu Sky accounting.

Stephen Price, investment director at Northstar Ventures, said: “Northstar Ventures is one of the UK’s leading regional venture capital investors. We are committed to supporting the region’s brightest entrepreneurs and helping them build the North East’s big businesses of tomorrow.

“One of the ways we do that is by working with partners across the region on accelerator and incubator programmes where we provide early stage finance, support and mentoring. The North East Launch Academy is a fantastic example of this and we’re delighted to be the venture capital partner to the programme.

“‘World class’ is a phrase that is often over-used, however, when it comes to the offshore wind and subsea engineering sector in the region it’s a phrase that is absolutely appropriate. We have genuine, globally leading businesses, capabilities, skills and assets with the region.”

James Battensby, ORE Catapult’s North East Launch Academy lead, said: “Innovation is vital in order to meet the offshore wind industry’s ambitious growth targets. With the 3.6 GW Dogger Bank offshore wind farm development and billions in investment planned directly off the NE coast, which will require cutting edge robotics and digital servicing technologies, there could not be a better time for North East start-ups to move into this exciting sector.

“Incorporating innovative technologies, products and services into the day to day running of offshore wind farms will improve efficiency and performance, and help to drive down costs as a result, but more importantly allow new opportunities to safeguard the health and safety of our offshore personnel.

“Initiatives like the Catapult’s Clean Technology Accelerator play a vital role in helping new start-ups succeed in competitive industries by working with the end customer.

“Our 12-week programme offers a unique package of support from the delivery partners including legal, IP, accountancy and investor readiness support as well as technology assessment, supply chain readiness and business case reviews.”

Applications to take part in the scheme are now open with the deadline being set at December 6.


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