What is the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership? And how will it affect your business?What is the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP)?

Launched by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership is a ten-year, £100 million programme intended to support the growth of UK businesses looking to capitalise on the opportunities offered by offshore wind.

Context of the OWGP

According to OWIC, the global wind market is set to be worth £30bn per year by 2030. As part of the UK Government’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal, the industry working with local enterprise partnerships, councils and development agencies, investing up to £250 million to develop the UK supply chain, increase productivity and foster innovation. Part of this investment includes an amount of up to £100 million put into the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership.

Why the OWGP?

The OWGP’s objective is to deliver increased productivity and competitiveness to drive increased UK content into offshore windfarms in the UK as well as in the rapidly-growing global market.

OWGP will work to:

  • Promote greater collaboration
  • Increase business competitiveness
  • Support greater innovation
  • Attract new entrants
  • Grow existing companies.

Who will benefit from OWGP?

The support provided to businesses under the new partnership programme will take the forms of:

  • expert guidance on building win turbines
  • promoting offshore wind turbines
  • funding for research and innovation

OWGP will benefit UK companies seeking to grow their businesses in the rapidly-growing global offshore wind market. The programme is expected to support over 650 UK industry supply chain companies in areas such as commercialisation, manufacturing and innovation-funding.

What are the goals of the OWGP?

The programme’s stated goals are to:

  • Support businesses based in the UK which currently form part of the offshore wind energy supply chain;
  • Boost the exporting opportunities available to UK businesses;
  • Open the wind energy supply chain to businesses which are not currently affiliated;
  • Stimulate research and innovation within the wind industry, with the aim of helping develop the next generation of offshore wind technology.

Who is delivering the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership?

OWGP will be delivered by Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, via a not-for-profit company, OWGP Ltd. OWGP will have an independent board to oversee the programme and support supply chain companies to enable their growth and increase their competitiveness.

Although OWGP is a national programme, it will work closely with councils, local enterprise partnerships and development agencies to support the development of the clusters identified through the Sector Deal.

When can companies apply for the OWFG?

Companies seeking OWGP support are invited to apply to the programme on a regular basis. The first application process expected is to open in September this year, with further programmes starting in early 2020.

What are the OWGP timescales?

OWGP is a ten-year programme that will be launched in May 2019 with the first support activities taking place in 3Q19.

Benj Sykes, Industry Chair of the OWIC and Ørsted UK Country Manager for Offshore, said: “The offshore wind industry is offering multi-million-pound opportunities to hundreds of innovative companies throughout the UK in the years ahead – including new entrants to the market as well as firms already working in this area. The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership will provide practical help for UK companies so they can compete successfully for contracts in this thriving global market. The UK’s global pre-eminence in offshore wind means we are uniquely placed to sell our innovative products and services worldwide.”