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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute


Successful Energi Coast Innovation Group Launch to support sector’s technology development ambitions

(24 September 2020)

Durham Energy Institute and Energi Coast hosted an extremely well received launch event for the new regional Offshore Wind Innovation Group. The event was hosted online and had 100 registrants from leading industry and innovation representatives from the UK offshore wind supply chain.

The group was introduced by NOF Chief Executive George Rafferty and Innovation Group lead Professor Simon Hogg (Ørsted Professor in Renewable Energy and Head of the Department of Engineering at Durham University) who outlined the ambitions and activities the new group would be focused on achieving. There were also a number of thought provoking innovation case studies presented by Durham University, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Teesside and Newcastle Universities - showcasing the important role of University level innovation for ensuirng UK offshore wind sector success continues to grow.

A number of other case studies from Universities across the North East region were also made available to participants.

If you would like like copies of the presentations and case studies please get in contact with

About Energi Coast Innovation Group

The Innovation Group will be made up of key representatives from the offshore wind sector, regional universities, Local Enterprise Partnerships and industry.

It is also supported by representatives from Dogger Bank Wind Farm developers Equinor and SSE Renewables, as well as Sofia Offshore Wind Farm developer, RWE Renewables.

The Group has been established to progress major innovation opportunities for the region’s offshore wind industry in areas such as operations and maintenance and energy storage.

It also forms part of the Energi Coast cluster’s commitment to support the Government’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal that set out to drive the transformation of UK offshore wind generation, making it an integral part of a low-cost, low-carbon, flexible grid system and boost the productivity and competitiveness of the UK supply chain.

The Deal is built on the foundations of the Government’s Industrial Strategy – Ideas, People, Infrastructure, Business Environment and Places. 

The Innovation Group’s activities will align closely with the Sector Deal’s Ideas category, supporting North East England’s Offshore Wind Cluster to bring new technology and innovation to market.

Professor Simon Hogg said “The Offshore Wind Sector Deal is a fantastic opportunity for North East England. Durham University is delighted to lead the Innovation Group for Energi Coast, which will bring together research and development experts from academia, industry and the local authorities within our Region.

“The Group will help to identify and develop opportunities to deliver innovation that will maximise the economic benefit from Offshore Wind to North East England over the next decade and beyond 2030.”

A member of the group, which is at the heart of innovation and supporting the industry’s development of new solutions is the Offshore Renewables Catapult (ORE) Catapult, which has a base in Blyth, North East England.

Tony Quinn, Test Facilities Director at the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult said: “The North East has a critical role to play in UK offshore wind, and this group will fuse together our world-leading research, industrial and supply chain expertise to help drive the innovation required to lower the cost of energy, boost the region’s competitiveness and continue to attract inward investment”

James Ritchie, Chair of Energi Coast said: “North East England has been at the vanguard of innovation industry for generations, which continues in the offshore wind sector. This group will build on the effective collaborative relationships between operators, contractors and the supply chain to create a further focus on the development of innovative technology solutions to drive efficiencies and cost control for offshore wind projects.”

Media Coverage

We were pleased to see the launch press release was also picked up by a number of publications and digital bulletins (links below):