Supergen ORE Hub awards £1million to advance research in offshore renewable energy sector

The Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy Hub has awarded almost £1million to UK universities to support ambitious research projects investigating all aspects of offshore renewable energy (ORE).

The Hub’s Flexible Fund has been established to enable UK researchers to respond to a number of key ORE engineering challenges.

It also aims to support project areas that complement existing research, fill gaps or add cross-cutting activities to explore the transfer of research findings between sectors within ORE.

The research being funded in this first Flexible Fund call ranges from new and novel technologies for autonomously inspecting offshore wind farms to advanced satellite observations to improve the performance of offshore renewable installations. 

The Supergen ORE Hub was established in July 2018 thanks to £5million funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and was subsequently awarded a further £4million in June 2019. It provides research leadership to connect stakeholders, inspire innovation and maximise societal value in offshore renewable energy.

The Hub is led by Professor Deborah Greaves OBE, Head of the School of Engineering and Computing, Electronics and Mathematics at the University of Plymouth and includes Co-Directors from the University of Aberdeen, University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, University of Hull, University of Manchester, University of Oxford, University of Southampton, University of Strathclyde, and the University of Warwick.

Professor Greaves, Director of the Supergen ORE Hub, said:

“The Supergen ORE Hub’s first call for Flexible Funding has received a great deal of interest, with a large number of high quality research proposals submitted. We are delighted to award this funding aimed at enabling researchers, in collaboration with industry partners, to deliver fundamental research that will advance the development of the offshore renewable energy sector.”

Ross Wigg, Lead Industrial Partner of the Supergen ORE Advisory Board and Renewables Director – Asset Performance at the LOC Group, said:

“With offshore renewables now a significant player in the nation’s energy landscape, the benefits of scientists and industry experts working closely together – utilising their combined knowledge and expertise – will be seen by large and small companies across the UK and beyond.

“The Supergen ORE hub is an excellent example of this in action. It has been incredibly exciting to see the level of industry engagement and collaboration across the first Flexible Funding Call applications. The successful research projects will be invaluable in tackling some of the key challenges that the offshore renewable industries face both now and in the future.”

The full list of funded research projects, and lead institutions, is as follows:

  • ALPHA: Numerical Analysis of Laterally Loaded Piles Divided in Chalk (Imperial College London);
  • Autonomous Biomimetic Robot-fish for Offshore Wind Farm Inspection (University of York);
  • Passive Control of Wave Induced Platform Motions for Semi-submersible FOWTs (Manchester Metropolitan University);
  • Flow measurement for accurate tidal turbine design (University of Bath);
  • Accounting for Current in Wave Buoy Measurements (University of Manchester);

  • Novel Approaches for Physical Model Testing of Floating Wind Turbine Platforms (University of Strathclyde);
  • Enhancing Control Capability of ORE Systems for Stress Management and Grid Support (University of Warwick);
  • Veers’ Extension to Non-neutral Incoming Winds (VENTI) (University of Surrey);
  • Satellite Climate Observation for Offshore Renewable Energy Cost Reduction (SCORE) (University of Edinburgh);
  • Recycling Composite Wind Turbine Blade for High-Performance Composite Manufacturing (University of Strathclyde).

<p>ORE Supergen Hub</p>

The Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy Hub

The EPSRC-funded Hub aims to address technical, environmental and interdisciplinary challenges through collaboration, cementing the UK's position as a global leader in offshore renewable energy.