In the ever-evolving world of offshore renewable energy, innovation is the driving force behind progress. Ocean Winds, a prominent industry leader and a partner of the ELBE alliance in leading European regions, recognizes the significance of research and development (R&D) in shaping the future of the offshore wind sector. In their pursuit to strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in this field, Ocean Winds extends a warm invitation to participate in the Call for Financial Support to Innovation, open until 30th September 2023. It will be followed by a workshop for applicants on 24th August 2023.

The importance of R&D cannot be understated, as it holds the key to optimizing and increasing the efficiency of individual wind farm components throughout their lifecycle. This includes improvements during investment development, installation, and operation and maintenance (O&M) phases. Moreover, research focuses on meeting environmental and climate challenges, such as biodiversity preservation, component recycling, and the digitalization of crucial processes. Some areas of research remain undefined, leaving it up to innovative research teams to shape the future of the wind sector.

Ocean Winds understands that the outcomes of ongoing R&D initiatives today will significantly influence the future of the industry. This is why they actively participate in critical European projects like the ELBE alliance, which has been selected by the European Commission as the leading Joint Cluster Initiative (Eurocluster) in the renewable energies’ industrial ecosystem. ELBE brings together eight clusters from leading regions and countries in the offshore renewable energy sector, including the Baltic Sea region’s Pomeranian Platform for the Development of Offshore Wind Energy, Energy Cluster Denmark, and Offshore Vast from Sweden.

As part of ELBE’s recent activities, Ocean Winds is thrilled to announce the Call for Financial Support to Innovation, specifically targeted at European SMEs. They are inviting companies to submit projects that focus on Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle (UAV) systems to support underwater offshore O&M activities throughout the lifespan of an Offshore Wind Farm. Eligible projects may receive a grant up to €60,000. Each project should address the challenge identified by Ocean Winds for BC-Wind windfarm in Poland.

Ocean Winds invites to workshop

To foster innovation and encourage SME participation, on August 24th 2023, at 10:30 am Ocean Winds will organize a workshop where they will present in-depth details about the call. This event will showcase the eligibility criteria for the submission and elaborate on the specific needs and challenges the UAV projects must address, including:

  • surface transport of spare components from the O&M base to the Offshore Wind Farm location,
  • securing the Offshore Wind Farm in the event of any incident in the site area by remotely checking and
  • sending incident data to the O&M control room,
  • regular inspection of Offshore Wind Turbine and Offshore Substation underwater substructures and cabling,
  • periodical inspection and monitoring of seabed and marine life environments,
  • assisting the rescue team during incidents, particularly in limited visibility conditions, by locating and pinpointing the incident site;

The design of the Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle should encompass several crucial functionalities:

  • the autonomous system must have multitasking capabilities for different underwater and water-surface inspection and surveillance tasks,
  • it should work remotely to acquire and transmit real-time data to an Artificial Intelligence control system for immediate decision-making,
  • the UAV system’s hardware and software functionalities need to be developed to meet the project’s requirements,
  • this includes the development of a docking station within the Offshore Wind Farm and O&M base location;

“At Ocean Winds we firmly believe that the future of offshore renewable energy lies in groundbreaking research and innovation. By providing support to SMEs via ELBE alliance with promising Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle projects, we aim to drive progress, enhance the efficiency of offshore wind operations, and contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy landscape”said Kacper Kostrzewa, BC-Wind project director, Ocean Winds.


Take the first step towards revolutionizing the offshore wind sector. Submit your innovative Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle project before the 30th September 2023 deadline.

More details on the workshop:

More details on the Call For Financial Support to Innovation:

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