UK-US Offshore Wind Collaborative R&D

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £2 million for offshore wind R&D projects. UK projects must work in collaboration with separately funded US projects. This funding is from Innovate UK and for UK projects only.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £2 million

Opens: 16th Oct 2023

Closes: 10th Jan 2024

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £2 million in UK offshore wind R&D projects to work collaboratively with separately funded US projects.

UK projects must partner with US projects which are funded separately through a US application process run by the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium (NOWRDC).


The aim of this competition is to reduce the cost and risk of offshore wind development projects throughout the US. UK-US collaboration must be significant and meaningful.

Your UK project must demonstrate integration with the US project.

Your project’s scope must address one or more of the challenge areas for this competition:

Challenge 1: Solutions to facilitate offshore wind resiliency and transmission coordination

  • 1a: Development and demonstration of solutions that improve offshore wind power reliability
  • 1b: Development and demonstration of innovations in coordinated transmission solutions that optimize efficiency across multiple large projects, minimize environmental impacts, and conform with onshore grid constraints
  • 1c: Development and demonstration of solutions for integration of long duration energy storage of greater than 10 hours with offshore wind, to facilitate offshore wind resiliency, transmission coordination and integration.

Challenge 2: Operation & Maintenance (O&M) Systems Development

  • 2a: Technologies and strategies that advance the effectiveness, cost efficiency, and safety of O&M
  • 2b: Technologies and strategies that advance O&M supply chain development and flexibility

Challenge 3: Innovation to facilitate ocean area coexistence

Technology concepts that reduce offshore development and operational impacts on the marine biosphere

Specific Themes

Your project can focus on the following themes for each of the challenges.

Challenge 1: Solutions to facilitate offshore wind resiliency and transmission coordination


  • voltage control
  • frequency response
  • production forecasting and grid integration
  • black-start and grid forming capability
  • other wind powered reliability innovations


  • improved cable routing or shared cable landfall
  • offshore backbone and meshed grid or multi-terminal HVDC
  • dynamic array cables at 132 kilovolt (kV) and or dynamic export cables
  • other transmissions solutions


  • feasibility studies on the techno-economic analysis of differing energy storage solutions with offshore wind, such as hydrogen, thermal storage and pumped storage
  • feasibility studies joining up the physical requirements of the offshore wind-energy storage system with policy, market, dispatchability and digital arrangements
  • energy systems-level modelling for offshore wind-energy storage integration and consideration of demand side response
  • energy storage integration technologies with offshore wind development, considering turbine, farm and onshore network options
  • other energy storage integration solutions

Challenge 2: Operation & Maintenance (O&M) Systems Development


  • comparative assessments of O&M requirements and considerations associated with different substructure designs
  • technologies to improve offshore wind turbine component health monitoring, including corrosion monitoring and management
  • offshore wind turbine digital twin development and application in-practice
  • technological innovations to facilitate wind farm maintenance for example robotic inspection technologies and integration into practice, LiDAR, drone, sensor
  • innovations or assessment of opportunities to address technical and efficiency challenges associated with large-scale offshore wind buildout in deeper water and at greater distances from shore
  • solutions to improve operational safety for example safety vessels, electrical safety at substation, fire safety, novel uses of drone and autonomous vehicles
  • innovation in simulated workforce training
  • other O&M safety and efficiency systems


  • programmatic assessment for implementation of ocean-based testing and validation of approaches and technologies for O&M
  • technoeconomic analysis of port and vessel upgrades specifically for O&M purposes
  • other O&M supply chain technologies and strategies

Challenge 3: Innovation to facilitate ocean area coexistence

  • technologies that attenuate adverse impacts on marine life for example reducing noise impacts, reducing siting conflicts and the impacts of installation practices
  • structural alternatives or deployment methods that avoid or mitigate noise generation
  • mooring line sensors for detection of secondary entanglement, marine growth, and line failure
  • AI tools and other technologies, such as sonar, hydrophones, or camera systems, that improve detection and monitoring of fisheries and wildlife; or that improve marine navigation in and around offshore wind areas
  • technology solutions that mitigate and reduce interactions with federally managed, protected, and endangered species and their habitats
  • process or technology solutions to coordinate and integrate fisheries and wildlife monitoring and assessment including database and data sharing capacity building
  • other innovations to facilitate ocean area co-existence


Your project must:

  • have total costs between £150,000 and £600,000
  • last between 12 and 24 months
  • carry out at least 80% of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • start by 1 October 2024
  • end by 30 September 2026
  • work collaboratively with an R&D project in the US which is funded by NOWRDC

To be eligible for an Innovate UK grant award, the US project which you intend to collaborate with must also be awarded funding from NOWRDC.

Applications identified as not eligible by either Innovate UK or NOWRDC will not be sent for assessment.

All businesses, whether in the UK consortium, or in the US project you intend to collaborate with, must be separate legal and non-linked entities. This is to ensure that projects encourage genuine international collaboration, not internal company research. Linked companies are considered a single entity under the parent company.

Projects must always start on the first of the month and this must be stated within your application. Your project start date will be reflected in your grant offer letter if you are successful.

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, Innovate UK will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian and Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian and Belarusian source.

If your project’s total costs or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to at least 10 working days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request.

If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible. Your application will then not be sent for assessment.

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • be or involve at least one grant claiming UK micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

If the lead organisation is an RTO it must collaborate with at least 2 UK registered businesses (one SME, and one business of any size).

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

UK Project team

Only UK registered partners must be listed in the Project Partner section of your application on the Innovation Funding Service (IFS). Your US partner will not receive any of this UK competition funding. US partners will be funded by NOWRDC following a parallel application.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Each organisation in your consortium will receive funding from its respective national funding body.

Each UK partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once partners have accepted the invitation, they will be asked to login or to create an account in the Innovation Funding Service. They are responsible for entering their own project costs and completing their Project Impact questions in the application.

Non-funded partners

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 total project costs.

You cannot include US partners that do not receive Innovate UK funding, and their costs will not count towards the total project costs.


Subcontractors are allowed in this competition, but they are limited to no more than 20% of each UK organisation’s eligible project costs.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from the European Economic Area (EEA) but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an EEA subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

Number of applications

A business or research and technology organisation (RTO) can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications.

If a business is not leading any application, it can be included as a collaborator in up to 3 applications.

If an RTO is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.

An academic institution or a public sector organisation can collaborate on any number of applications.

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.


Innovate UK are not funding projects that are:

  • energy storage integration solutions that have a duration of less than 10 hours
  • energy storage R&D that is not specifically related to the optimisation or integration of energy storage with offshore wind
  • energy storage system balance of plant unless this R&D is specifically related to optimising or integrating existing long duration energy storage systems with offshore wind
  • focused on baseline environmental data collection, surveys or studies

Innovate UK are not funding projects that include R&D of core energy storage technology components and systems, whether existing or novel, such as:

  • electrochemical energy storage components and systems
  • mechanical energy storage components and systems
  • thermal energy storage components and systems

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Costs

Up to £2 million has been allocated to fund UK partners’ costs for innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

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 organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

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 organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Research participation

The UK research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them. Of that 30% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO or public sector organisation

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.