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20th September 2020

Robotic Cluster for Offshore Renewable Energy (R-CORE)

Business case and environmental assessments for a new test site for underwater robotics.

Advances in underwater robotics offer the potential to reduce costs and improve health and safety of offshore renewable energy.

Developing these technologies will require new test facilities to validate designs and mitigate the risks of deploying vehicles offshore.

Urban Foresight is working with partners to develop a business case for a new subsea robotics test site in Blyth, Northumberland.

This new facility would support trials of autonomous and remotely operated vehicles in a range of marine conditions. This includes near shore and estuarine marine environments, through to those more representative of offshore wind sites.

“Projects like these show the breadth of Urban Foresight’s knowledge and experience,” said Graham Thrower, Head of Infrastructure and Investment at Urban Foresight. “We’re passionate advocates of renewable energy and it’s great to have the opportunity help make this key innovation asset a reality.”

The business case will look at industry requirements, now and into the future for the test facility. It will also determine what elementary environmental assessments will need to take place to deliver a fit for purpose test site.

The project will benefit from Urban Foresight’s track record of developing business cases for innovation hubs across the UK.

It will also benefit from our experience of exploring opportunities for innovation in offshore renewables. This includes mapping renewable energy supply chains, identifying opportunities for digital transformation, and developing a smart ports test bed.

The project is part funded by Northumberland County Council, North of Tyne Combined Authority, Advance Northumberland, and ORE Catapult.

Urban Foresight is working in partnership with Aquatera, National Subsea Centre, Orcades Marine and VSEL.

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