Offshore renewables grants safe post Brexit, Treasury reassures East of England

20th August 2016

Businesses hoping to develop their bright ideas for offshore renewables with help from £6million of EU funding have been reassured Brexit will not affect their grants.

The Treasury has guaranteed that the SCORE grant programme – for ideas and inventions to cut costs in offshore renewables – will continue after the UK leaves the EU, if it happens before the programme ends.

The promise offers certainty to those businesses currently putting together applications now as well as its delivery partners.

SCORE – part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – was launched in June 2016, offering grants up to £50,000 to 200 small and medium sized companies across the country.

It is expected to create 200 additional jobs for the region and stimulate more than £3million of private sector investment, strengthening business, research and university collaborations.

Chancellor Philip Hammond promised this week (August 20 2016) that SCORE would be backed by the Treasury, along with other projects and EU funding for farmers and scientists totalling up to £6bn a year, after Brexit.

On top of grant funding, successful SCORE fund applicants will have access to some of the UK’s leading figures driving innovation and developing renewables technology, and access to world-class test and demonstration facilities and laboratories through the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE Catapult).

The Chancellor said: “The UK will continue to have all of the rights, obligations and benefits that membership brings, including receiving European funding, up until the point we leave the EU.

“We recognise that many organisations across the UK which are in receipt of EU funding, or expect to start receiving funding, want reassurance about the flow of funding they will receive.

“We are determined to ensure that people have stability and certainty in the period leading up to our departure from the EU and that we use the opportunities that departure presents to determine our own priorities.”

Johnathan Reynolds, of OrbisEnergy, the innovation and incubation centre delivering the SCORE programme, said applicants would appreciate the clarity.

“We were always confident SCORE would not be affected but obviously, until the Treasury pledged to back this project and ensure it runs its full course, potential applicants might have been concerned about the longevity and certainty of grants for their innovations and projects and hesitant to apply.

“We’re excited about the quality of applications coming in and are looking forward to making the first awards.”

Oil & gas companies looking at adapting their innovations and systems to offshore wind are being in encouraged to investigate the grants.

“SCORE grants are available for commercial innovation too. We are looking for new ways of doing business and new ways of thinking in the industry.”

SCORE 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 across the country can apply as long as economic benefit from their innovation will be felt in the east of England.

The funding is designed to help companies in a wide range of areas, including research and development, collaboration with universities and research bodies, securing patents, acquiring specialist equipment or services and investigating the commercial viability of processes and technologies.

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

Case studies showcasing companies who benefited from the previous £2.5million SCORE programme can be seen at www.scoregrants.co.uk

The current programme is delivered by OrbisEnergy in partnership with enterprise specialists Nwes, energy industry experts Nautilus Associates and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.

Ends

Issued for OrbisEnergy by TMS Media.

For further information, please contact:
Johnathan Reynolds at OrbisEnergy on 01502 563368 or 07787 518643 (Johnathan.reynolds@nautilus.uk.com)

Rachel Moore or Steve Scott at TMS Media on 01493 662929 (rachel@tms-media.co.uk or steve.scott@tms-media.co.uk)

Picture caption:

Your grants are safe, Chancellor Philip Hammond tells hopeful East of England companies applying to the SCORE programme.

Note to Editors:

OrbisEnergy is the hub for offshore renewables at the UK’s most easterly point in Lowestoft, Suffolk. It is a leading technology, innovation and incubation centre, acting as a catalyst for sector growth and supply chain development.

OrbisEnergy is owned by Suffolk County Council, and managed by Nwes Property Services Ltd.

The SCORE project has received £3,000,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

On top of grant funding, successful applicants will have access to some of the UK’s leading figures driving innovation and developing renewables technology, and access to world-class test and demonstration facilities and laboratories through the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE Catapult).

Johnathan Reynolds, of OrbisEnergy, the innovation and incubation centre delivering the SCORE programme of grants of up to £50,000, said opportunities were at every level of the supply chain across the East.

“We know we have some amazingly talented people and businesses with rich expertise across our oil & gas supply chain in the east. We’re now looking to support those firms with good ideas, technologies and solutions, which can be diversified into offshore renewables. The SCORE programme, with our specialist delivery partners, can explore this with them.

“They have been successfully supporting an industry for more than 50 years, more recently through a serious industry-wide downturn with a major drive to bring down costs through greater innovation and efficiency. Offshore oil & gas is now a very mature industry that has had to cut its cloth accordingly.

“On our coastline, is not only the UK’s gas basin but the largest concentration of offshore wind farms, operating and under development, anywhere in the world. While the offshore wind industry is driving its own cost reduction programme, the drivers are different.

“It’s about being competitive in a global market against other energy generation technologies; it’s about standing on its own two feet without the need for government subsidy; and it’s about the need to support UK-based supply chains that are dynamic and innovative, creating and supporting skilled jobs and growing economies.

Innovation was not just about technology, he said.

“SCORE grants are available for commercial innovation too. We are looking for new ways of doing business and new ways of thinking in the industry.”

“Whether it is around cable and pipeline protection, manufacturing and fabrication of offshore assets, wave and tidal energy systems as auxiliary power supplies, intelligent sensors and inspection methods or more efficient methods of crew transfer and movement, we want to hear about the innovations being researched and developed.

“Supply chain areas, such as operations and maintenance and asset integrity management, are where we see some of the bigger prizes for the East in the longer term. We are looking for innovations especially in this area.”

Small-to-medium sized companies will be able to secure grants of up to £50,000 to support their innovations for offshore wind, wave, tidal and other marine renewable sectors. Businesses must have a base in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk, and Suffolk.

Having the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult as a SCORE delivery partner means companies could road test their ideas and technologies gaining advice from experts in different fields, he said.

“This SCORE programme is about more than just the grant funding. Companies can access advice and support and also specialist technical help with their developing applications.

“ORE Catapult is the UK’s flagship technology innovation and research centre for advancing wind, wave and tidal energy. It gives companies access to world-leading expertise and advice, facilitating access across industrial, research, and investor networks, to develop, de-risk and support the journey of bringing new technologies to market.”

Applications are already being received with a growing level of interest from firms keen to capitalise on new opportunities for growth and sustainability.

This SCORE programme is more than double the size of our previous round, which supported more than 50 companies, invested in 40 projects and created 70 new jobs.

This time, it aims to help more than 200 businesses and create 200 additional jobs for the region.

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.

The funding is designed to help companies in a wide range of areas, including research and development, collaboration with universities and research bodies, securing patents, acquiring specialist equipment or services and investigating the commercial viability of processes and technologies.

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

Case studies showcasing companies who benefited from the previous £2.5million SCORE programme can be seen at www.scoregrants.co.uk

The current programme is delivered by OrbisEnergy in partnership with enterprise specialists Nwes, energy industry experts Nautilus Associates and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.

Ends

Issued for OrbisEnergy by TMS Media.

For further information, please contact:
Johnathan Reynolds at OrbisEnergy on 01502 563368 or 07787 518643 (Johnathan.reynolds@nautilus.uk.com)

Rachel Moore or Steve Scott at TMS Media on 01493 662929 (rachel@tms-media.co.uk or steve.scott@tms-media.co.uk)

Picture caption:
Johnathan Reynolds, of OrbisEnergy, says SCORE will unleash great new ideas.

Note to Editors:

OrbisEnergy is the hub for offshore renewables at the UK’s most easterly point in Lowestoft, Suffolk. It is a leading technology, innovation and incubation centre, acting as a catalyst for sector growth and supply chain development.

OrbisEnergy is owned by Suffolk County Council, and managed by Nwes Property Services Ltd.

The SCORE project has received £3,000,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

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