Innovation Exchange challenge: Remotely Operated, Quick Release Mooring Line Tensioners

The Innovation Exchange is working to identify innovative solutions for remotely operated quick release mechanisms for floating offshore wind turbine mooring systems.

Opportunity Details


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Successful applicants will be given an opportunity to pitch to the Challenge Holder, and may also receive support from ORE Catapult or Innovate UK Business Connect, support in the development of a prototype or pilot, technical support, event invitations, and collaboration and investment opportunities.

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The Innovation Exchange (iX) initiative is supporting the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence (FWCoE) and its member companies in the offshore wind industry to identify solutions to its innovation needs.

Floating offshore wind

Through the ScotWind leasing round, the UK recently committed to as much as 27.6GW (approximately 1500-3000 turbines) of new offshore wind generating capacity over the next decade, of which 19GW will be built on floating foundations. The recent Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) leasing round has extended this capacity by 5.4GW, bringing the total Scottish floating wind pipeline capacity to 24.4GW. Celtic Sea leasing will provide an additional 4GW of floating wind capacity in England and Wales. Globally, the floating offshore wind market is expected to grow to 264GW of installed capacity by 2050 (DNV, 2023).

ORE Catapult Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult is the UK’s leading innovation centre for offshore wind. ORE Catapult’s unique facilities, research and engineering capabilities bring together industry and academia and drive innovation.

ORE Catapult has established the Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence (FOW CoE) to develop an internationally recognised initiative to reduce the cost of energy from floating wind and hosts memberships to 19 offshore wind developers. ORE Catapult’s unique facilities, research and engineering capabilities bring together industry and academia and drive innovation. The Centre will accelerate the build-out of floating farms, create opportunities for the UK supply chain, and drive innovations in manufacturing, installation and O&M.

Floating offshore wind turbine mooring systems and this challenge

Mooring systems for floating offshore wind turbines (FOWT) are typically designed with pre-laying anchors. Pre-lay anchors allow for the installation of a complete mooring spread before the FOWT arrives on location. Improvements could be made in the design of this system to optimise the hook-up and disconnection operation between the mooring system and the FOWT. Currently the hook-up operation is performed manually which has safety and operational setbacks with tighter installation weather windows. A quick connection system would solve these issues and allow for more efficient hook-ups and improved installation campaigns through wider operational windows.

In the Oil and Gas industry, Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSOs) systems and Semi-Submersibles used for drilling utilise winches to tension and slacken the mooring lines in their systems. It is unlikely that winches will be utilised on the FOWT substructure as the turbines will be unmanned, meaning advanced remote operation is required. They will also need continued maintenance resulting in both higher CAPEX and OPEX.

The Challenge Holder seeks a novel way of tensioning or slackening the mooring line without the need for a turbine mounted winch. This could be delivered by a mechanism on the turbine, at the anchor side of the mooring line (instead of mid-line tensioners), or integration of existing technology used to success in parallel industries such as oil and gas.


Entrants to this competition must be:

  • Established businesses, startups, SMEs or individual entrepreneurs
  • UK based or have the intention to set up a UK base

Rewards & Benefits

Successful applicants will be given an opportunity to pitch to the Challenge Holder. At the discretion of the organisers of the competition, the package may also include:

  • Support from the ORE Catapult or Innovate UK Business Connect
  • Support in the development of a prototype or pilot
  • Technical support
  • A place in Innovate UK Business Connect or ORE Catapult events
  • A potential business collaboration
  • Investor introductions (if investment is required)

Related programme

Innovation Exchange

Innovation Exchange

Innovate UK Innovation Exchange is a cross-sector programme supporting innovation transfer by matching industry challenges to innovative companies from other sectors. It does this by putting large businesses with technical needs in contact with companies who have the right innovative solutions, for faster development of novel solutions.


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