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Businesses in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire wanting to access renewables supply chain opportunities are taking advantage of support from the Green Port Growth Programme (GPGP) created to establish East Yorkshire as a world-class centre for renewable energy and supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

The GPGP’s Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) strand provides support and identifies new opportunities for key businesses working in the offshore wind and wider renewables sectors to capitalise on the proposed Siemens investment at Hull’s Alexandra Dock.

Dr Alan Lowdon, R&D Director of the Green Port Growth Programme, has been raising awareness of the programme and how companies can take new or existing products and services into the renewables sector.

He said: “In the past eight months or so, we have started to help businesses learn how to take their ideas forward into this new industry and access the range of funding which is available to support this.”

“In addition, an assessment of core skills in the region has identified logistics, operations and maintenance, safety and simulation as areas where the region can play a leading role in relation to offshore renewables R&D, with local businesses and the University of Hull being key to success."

As part of the research, the GPGP has opened a dialogue with Siemens to find out more about its R&D needs and in particular, how local companies can work alongside side to enter its supply chain with innovative products and services.

Dr Lowdon added:

“We've already facilitated some early introductions. Visibility and knowledge of these local businesses is vital for the larger players coming into the Humber region who will need support on a local level.”

In October start-up company Greenstick Energy Ltd, inventors of a novel mooring device for offshore applications obtained support from the Green Port Programme to file its core patent in seven territories around the world, thus potentially securing its position in these key markets.

Inventor of the Greenstick and Managing Director of Greenstick Energy Ltd, David West, successfully secured the UK patent of the device in December 2013 and was keen to protect the IP by applying for international patents. However, time was running out and funding was required to make the applications. He contacted the Green Port Growth Programme team who recognised the potential of the Greenstick and agreed to fund a carefully selected list of international patents applications. 

David commented:

“Without the financial assistance the company received to apply for the international patents the Greenstick and the advances it could make in marine engineering would have been openly available. 

The Green Port Growth Programme has enabled Greenstick to be developed into a marketable product in East Yorkshire with far less risk of the innovation being hijacked by others who identify its potential.”