Marine-i has called on businesses in Cornwall to seize the opportunity offered by a new Government funding scheme that will support the development of innovative floating offshore wind technologies.

Marine-i has also offered practical support to these businesses, by providing access to world-class testing facilities and assisting in the formation of new collaborations between companies.

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i is designed to help the marine technology sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through harnessing the full potential of research and innovation.

The Floating Offshore Wind Demonstration Programme is a new funding call which has been announced by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It reflects the UK Government’s target for floating offshore wind to deliver 1GW of energy by 2030.

Floating offshore wind (FLOW) is a fast-growing industry worldwide. It enables wind turbines to operate in deeper seas, where the winds are stronger. The Celtic Sea has been identified as one of the best potential sites in Europe.

BEIS is making up to £17.5 million of funding available for this programme. The aim is to deliver  multiple demonstration projects, which will take place until end of March 2024, and will cover a range of FLOW technology challenges. These include mooring and anchoring, dynamic cables, and floaters and foundations.

Prof Lars Johanning, programme director for Marine-i, said: “This is an excellent initiative and local marine tech businesses should take full advantage of it. The Marine-i team will offer any assistance they can to these companies in preparing their bids.

“Through the Marine-i project, they can also get access to over 20 world class offshore renewables test facilities, backed up by leading-edge research expertise from the University of Exeter and University of Plymouth. These technology challenges for FLOW may well require a number of businesses to work in collaboration in their delivery. Marine-i is prepared to use its experience in this area to help facilitate the forming of these new consortia.

“Floating offshore wind is poised to be a huge opportunity for Cornwall and the south west. I would urge businesses to start formulating their bids as soon as possible, ahead of the closing date for applications of June 18.”