During the WindDays Conference on June 14, InnovationLink, TKI Wind op Sea and NWEA launched the Offshore Wind Innovators community. The goal of this initiative is to accelerate the introduction of innovations into this growing and dynamic industry. Already 50 companies and organizations have indicated to support Offshore Wind Innovators.
As a share in the energy transition, the offshore wind industry will build over 10 gigawatt (GW) in wind farms in Europe in the coming years. As a result, Dutch employment will increase by 8000 to 12,000 jobs by 2020. The subsidy requirement of offshore wind farms has fallen by 80-90% in 8 years. The last steps are the most difficult. Innovations from SMEs are crucial to manage this in an affordable and environment-friendly manner.
While innovating, entrepreneurs face three major challenges: attracting funding, increasing visibility and finding a launching customer. Because so many entrepreneurs struggle with these issues, InnovatieLink, TKI Wind op Zee and NWEA have taken the Offshore Wind Innovators initiative.
The community is intended for both SME entrepreneurs and parties that can provide solutions to these challenges. Over 50 business partners – innovative SME entrepreneurs, big groups, investors, port companies, innovation hubs and media partners – have already expressed their support for this community.
The activities that Offshore Wind Innovators will organize include Innovation Challenges, Investor Days and the SME Innovation Award. Today, participants at the WindDay Conference already get a taste of the activities.
“With Offshore Wind Innovators, we want to strengthen the innovation power of the Dutch offshore wind sector, by removing possible obstacles to SMEs,” said Chris Bruijnes, Director of InnovatieLink. “This gives them the chance to market their innovations faster and more successfully.”
Ernst van Zuijlen, Managing Director of the TKI Wind op Zee: “The developments over the next few years offer a lot of opportunities for startups and innovative companies. The Offshore Wind Innovators community helps them to tackle those opportunities and creates opportunities.”
Hans Timmers, NWEA Executive Chairman: “We have taken major steps in the last year to install offshore wind energy without public funding. For the last steps in this direction, the innovative power of SMEs is needed. This initiative perfectly addresses this. “