In the East of England, the F4OR programme is co-funded by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and Norfolk County Council as a way of supporting businesses in expanding their market share in offshore renewables or entering the sector for the first time.
Its over-arching goal is to promote cross-sector collaboration in accelerating the UK’s energy transition.
ORE Catapult’s Andy Holyland, who manages the programme in the region, said: “This is a fully-funded programme, so businesses need only commit their time and effort. Every company we have supported to date can report successes off the back of the programme: new contract awards, business growth, new accreditations and improved processes and procedures.”
Companies that successfully complete the programme are awarded F4OR Granted status, a well-established hallmark of credibility in the offshore renewables sector.
Paul Ward, project quality manager at PPI Engineering:
“As experts in the design, support and manufacturing of rotating electrical machines, we have already worked on tidal and onshore wind projects and would like to increase our exposure to the offshore wind sector.
We are in discussion with several members of the F4OR cohort to see if we can work together to bid on larger projects.
“With a much better understanding of the structure of the industry and entry points, we would like to set up a dedicated team and facility to one of the ports to better support electrical power generation equipment, both locally and globally.”
Janet Rix, commercial leader at TECOSIM UK:
“As new entrants to the sector, it was difficult to know where we would fit in to provide our technical services to the offshore wind industry.
The F4OR programme helped us to develop a road map as to how we should progress.
“We now understand the commercial aspects, contract requirements, competitors and where best to target our efforts.
It has been a wonderful undertaking, bringing our engineers and managers together with a new enthusiasm to learn more about a different sector and diversify our existing capabilities.”
Jon Bayley, consultant at Safinah Group:
“We are experts in coatings and have previously focused on yacht, marine and offshore oil and gas projects.
Being part of the programme has helped us focus our business development activities to make sure we are approaching the renewables sector in the right way and are well positioned during this period of rapid growth.“
We’ve met industry experts, built up a network of companies and contacts and have had our ideas challenged, which has helped us recognise where our strengths are and where improvements can be made.”
Latest news from the F4OR cohort
Weatherquest has taken on two new employees that will be engaged directly on contracts secured during the programme.
Fern Communications has achieved ISO 14001 accreditation and has also been awarded four new contracts, taking on two new employees.
EnerMech has been awarded contract work on additional offshore wind farms.
SMS has recently expanded into two new regions and secured a long-term maintenance contract with SSE Renewables in Lowestoft following a successful Achilles audit.
Armultra has taken on three apprentices this year with East Coast College, as well as taking on three approvers that are all undertaking on-the-job training.
For more information, please visit ore.catapult.org.uk/F4OR