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Bilateral UK and US offshore wind R&D programme, EoI


Express an interest in applying for a share of up to £1.5million from the bilateral Innovate UK and US national offshore wind programme to tackle nine challenge areas.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £1.5million in UK companies partnering with US consortia to work on projects as part of the $40 million US National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium programme (NOWRDC).

Nine challenge areas have been identified which aim to reduce the cost and risk of offshore wind development projects throughout the US.

This is the expression of interest phase of the UK competition. There are three phases:

  1. UK expression of interest (EoI): applications are reviewed by Innovate UK.
  2. NOWRDC application: UK applicants join a US-based consortium to apply via the NYSERDA solicitation process.
  3. UK full stage competition: you will be invited to apply only if you are successful in this UK EoI phase.

Open Date:


Close Date:


The aim of this competition is to fund UK organisations to work collaboratively with a US consortium, to reduce the technical barriers faced by offshore wind developers, original equipment manufacturers and the supply chain. The focus is on reducing barriers that stop the use of offshore wind technologies, including cost.

UK applications to be involved in US projects must meet the NYSERDA scope, one or more of the three ‘research pillars’ and one or more of the nine challenge areas outlined below.

To help UK applicants find US partners and projects, NYSERDA, Innovate UK and the KTN will run online matchmaking events.

You must submit details of your original UK EoI. You must also submit:

  • Detailed UK deliverables
  • A project plan
  • A list of UK partners
  • A list of UK project finances
  • A copy of your project submission (or intention to submit) to NYSERDA

Your summary submission must outline:

  • The wider US consortium partners
  • The wider US work programme
  • How UK deliverables contribute to the larger US project
  • The main US project milestones

Innovate UK will monitor changes between your UK EoI and UK full stage competition submissions. Innovate UK will not accept unjustified large changes in the scope.

Innovate UK are looking to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies, markets, technological maturities and research categories.

Your project must focus on one or more of the three research pillars outlined in the US National Offshore Wind Roadmap:

  1. Offshore wind plant technology advancement.
  2. Offshore wind power resource and physical site characterisation.
  3. Installation, operations and maintenance, and supply chain.

Your project must also focus on one or more of the challenge areas outlined in the current NYSERDA solicitation at the time you apply to Innovate UK and to NYSERDA. Future versions of the NYSERDA solicitation may add, amend or remove challenge areas. It is your responsibility to ensure your project is relevant to at least one active challenge area on the day you apply.

There are currently nine NYSERDA challenge areas:

  1. Array performance and control optimisation.
  2. Cost-reducing turbine support structures for the US market.
  3. Floating structure mooring concepts for shallow and deep waters.
  4. Power system design and innovation.
  5. Comprehensive wind resource assessment.
  6. Development of a metocean reference site.
  7. Heavy lift vessel alternatives.
  8. Offshore wind digitisation through advanced analytics.
  9. Technology solutions to accelerate US supply chain.

You must have a successful application in this UK EoI before you can be invited to apply to the UK full stage competition (phase 3).

When you apply to the full stage Innovate UK competition your application must have a UK lead to claim funding from Innovate UK and manage the UK deliverables within the US project. Your EoI application also needs a lead partner.

You can choose to be the only UK partner in a US-led collaborative project or collaborate with other UK partners. To be the only UK partner, you must be a UK registered SME.

To lead the UK application your organisation must:

  • Be a UK-registered business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • Collaborate with other UK registered businesses, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities
  • Include at least one UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) in your consortium

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

UK organisations cannot lead an application to NYSERDA (phase 2).

To collaborate with the UK lead organisation your organisation must:

  • Be invited to take part by the lead applicant
  • Enter its costs in the Innovation Funding Service

You can add partners to the main UK competition application (phase 3) that you have not included in this EoI application.

The UK part of your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the UK total eligible project costs.

Any one business or RTO can lead on one Innovate UK application and collaborate in further 2 applications.

If a business is not leading an application, they can collaborate in up to three applications.

If an RTO is not the lead on any application, they can collaborate in any number of applications.

An academic institution can collaborate on any number of applications.

If invited to apply for the UK full stage competition, your combined UK total eligible project costs must be between £150,000 and £600,000.

Projects must start by 1 November 2020 and end by 31 December 2022. They must last between 12 and 24 months.

To be awarded funding in the UK full stage competition you must be part of a US consortium that has been awarded funding through the NYSERDA solicitation process.

Innovate UK have allocated up to £1.5million to fund UK innovation projects in this competition.

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • Up to 70% if you are a micro or small business
  • Up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • Up to 50% if you are a large business

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • Up to 45% if you are a micro or small business
  • Up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • Up to 25% if you are a large business

The research organisations in your UK consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum is shared between them.

Innovate UK are not funding any technologies and types of project which are not covered in the NYSERDA solicitation.

Cresco Innovation works with companies to develop and implement innovation strategies. We help client companies identify opportunities to develop new products and services, and then create a package of support to ensure that the idea is turned into a commercial reality.

Our services include securing grants (as a team we have raised around £40million over three years), business planning, IP advice, access to finance and funders, project management and IP commercialisation support.

We regularly act as the interface with the funding bodies and help clients ensure that their projects are properly managed to ensure the best outcome for all.

Call to find out more

If you’d like to know more about this competition, please give us a call on 01509 261182 and one of our team will be delighted to help you access this funding opportunity for your business.