£6m fund for offshore innovation

£6m fund for offshore innovation

A new £6m grant fund has been launched to help more than 200 companies unlock innovations in offshore renewable energy.

The SCORE programme, delivered by the OrbisEnergy innovation and incubation centre in Lowestoft, provides grants of up to £50,000 to support companies developing new technologies.

Funding is available to small and medium sized businesses in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk, and Suffolk.

The programme is particularly interested to hear from oil and gas companies looking to diversify into offshore renewables.

Johnathan Reynolds, of OrbisEnergy, said: “This is more than double the amount of money in the previous SCORE programme, which supported over 50 companies, invested in 40 projects and created 70 new jobs.

“This time we’re confident we can help over 200 businesses to develop their bright ideas, and in the process create 100 additional jobs for the region.

“With some of the biggest wind farms in the world being built off the east coast, our region has firmly established itself as the UK’s principal hub for offshore renewable energy, with an experienced and highly inventive supply chain.

“The SCORE programme will help to unleash great new ideas to lower costs and increase efficiency in technologies behind offshore wind, wave, tidal and other marine sectors.”

The programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is open to companies with fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than 50 million euros. 

Grants are available for up to 40% of eligible costs or £50,000, whichever is the lower, with a minimum grant of £2,500. Start-up and established companies in the four counties can apply.

Reynolds added that several companies have already shown an interest in the programme and he was expecting a large number of enquiries now that it had been officially launched.

More information is available on 01502 563368 or score@orbisenergy.co.uk.