The Offshore Wind Innovation Hub has named the first round of startup companies selected to receive support to develop innovative ideas designed to unleash the potential of offshore wind.
The six winners – chosen from a panel of eleven finalists participating in a live Shark Tank-style pitch competition last month – will begin a six-month mentoring and business development program designed to prepare them to partner with major offshore wind developers, suppliers and the larger offshore wind value chain.
Launched in January to help develop promising startups that drive new innovation in the offshore wind industry, the Offshore Wind Innovation Hub is led by Equinor and bp in collaboration with Urban Future Lab at NYU Tandon School of Engineering and the National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium. Supported by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the New York City-based Innovation Hub seeks to advance an inclusive supply chain and accelerate New York’s local green economy.
Drawn from an initial pool of 49 global international applicants hailing from the U.S., Canada, U.K., Europe and Japan, the six companies selected to participate in the NYC-based Year 1 Cohort presented these projects:
- Benchmark Labs Inc. – Turbine-specific weather forecasts to improve operational margins.
- Flucto – Using sensor, GPS and camera data for offshore wind farm installations and increased precision.
- Heerema Engineering Solutions – Software tool to simulate the complete offshore construction process in an event simulator.
- OSC AS – Industrial metaverse simulation for derisking and cost-cutting offshore wind farm planning.
- RCAM Technologies – Low-cost, 3D printed, environmentally friendly concrete anchors for floating offshore wind.
- VINCI VR – Virtual reality for workforce safety and training.
“Offshore wind was built on the kind of creative ideas and passion that these promising startups display. We can’t wait to watch these innovative ideas start to take off,” says Tone Sondergaard, director of the Offshore Wind Innovation Hub.
The selection criteria for Innovation Hub participants also included the following components:
- Program Fit, Product Potential and Competitive Landscape – Evaluation of potential climate benefits of technology and impact on the overall U.S. offshore wind market.
- Existing Traction & Validation – Company must be investigating product-market fit and seeking partnerships in New York.
- Founding Team Strength – Team dynamics and the startup’s preparedness to fully leverage the benefits of the program.
“New York is the best place in America to do offshore wind,” says Pat Sapinsley, of the Urban Future Lab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. “We have agreement between all of the political entities. We have the CLCPA (Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act), which mandates that 70% of the State’s electricity will be generated by renewable energy by 2030 and we have the tech talent to accomplish it.”