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East of England Launch Academy Successfully Paving the Way for Offshore Renewable Energy Innovation

by Anna

The first East of England Launch Academy, a technology accelerator programme by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, celebrates the graduation of nine companies across Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex. The programme aims to revolutionize the UK’s offshore renewable energy sector.

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The graduation ceremony, held at The Hold in Ipswich, marked a significant milestone for the cohort companies. The successful graduates include Extend Robotics, Fern Communications, Recyclatrack, Exo Engineering, Urban XR, Aquaterra Energy, Front Technologies, Mission Zero Technologies, and Haven Dredging.

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Developed in response to the triumph of previous national and regional Launch Academy programmes, the East of England initiative has supported a total of 47 companies since 2020, raising £25.2 million in private investment and £7.8 million in grant funding while filing 48 patents across the UK.

Stephen Wyatt, Director of Strategy and Emerging Technologies at ORE Catapult, emphasized the importance of strengthening the UK’s offshore supply chain for a smooth transition toward net-zero targets. He stated, “The impressive growth and innovation within the 2023 cohort demonstrate that these companies have the potential to bring groundbreaking advancements to the offshore energy sector, promising an exciting future.”

James Lee, Director at Urban XR, expressed gratitude for the support and expertise gained from Launch Academy East of England, emphasizing their exploration of the market potential for an enhanced Rehearsal of Concept approach named ROC.AR.

Jake Storey, Executive Director of Haven Dredging, recognized the unique opportunity offered by Launch Academy East of England, stating, “By maximizing ORE Catapult’s resources and expertise, we will now be able to position ourselves strategically in the market, gain a competitive edge, and achieve sustainable success.”

Clive Cushion, Technical Director at Fern Communications, highlighted the exposure gained within the offshore renewables industry. He said, “Our goal is to encourage the industry to adopt F-Trax as a market-leading personnel tracking system.”

Funding for the programme was provided by ORE Catapult, RWE (leading offshore wind developer), Norfolk County Council, Essex County Council, and Suffolk County Council. Pro bono support was offered by Marks & Clerk, Birketts, and Lovewell Blake.

David Terry, Supply Chain Development Manager at RWE, expressed delight in supporting the programme and emphasized RWE’s commitment to driving innovation and supporting supply chain growth in the offshore wind sector.

The graduation ceremony celebrated the progress achieved by the companies after six months of specialized training and tailored support modules covering legal, marketing, export, accountancy, intellectual property, investor readiness, technology assessment, and business case reviews.

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