Ørsted to Open New Innovation Hub in Rhode Island

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 2:15pm
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Ørsted today announced it will be launching a new United States Innovation Hub, in Providence, R.I.:

Ørsted, the global leader in offshore wind development, has announced the opening of its United States Innovation Hub in Providence, Rhode Island. The Innovation Hub will be located in the CIC Providence workspace and will officially open early spring. 

As part of Ørsted’s commitment to building an offshore wind industry supply chain in the U.S., the company is establishing its Innovation Hub team in Rhode Island. To facilitate its mission, the Hub team will leverage Ørsted’s industry-leading expertise across the company’s offices in U.S. and Europe. Ørsted expects its seven work stations at Providence’s CIC will be regularly filled with dedicated innovation team leaders as well as rotating team members from the company’s global headquarters in Denmark and its regional headquarters in North America.

The purpose of this team will be to identify, foster, and, where appropriate, finance enterprises related to offshore wind, with a focus on next-generation technology and related innovation in the offshore wind energy field. The Innovation Hub will serve as the physical location for this team as they investigate U.S.-based companies interested in deploying next generation technologies to advance offshore wind deployment.  As a key part of this process the innovation hub team will leverage Rhode Island’s existing innovation ecosystem.

“Innovation has been the key to the success of the offshore wind industry in Europe, so committing time and resources to foster new technology growth here in the U.S. was an obvious step for Ørsted,” said Thomas Brostrøm, President for Ørsted North America and CEO for Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind. “Locating this operation in Providence was an equally obvious move for us. The state has shown time and time again that it is home to one of the best innovation economies in the country and we look forward to becoming a part of that community.”

“I’m thrilled that Ørsted has decided to open its United States Innovation Hub here in Providence, further cementing our status as America’s offshore wind capital,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “We’re making record investments in education and job training, and the results speak for themselves. As we continue working to ensure Rhode Islanders are prepared for high-skill jobs in the modern economy, I’m confident that more and more companies like Ørsted – leaders in 21st century industries – will continue to look to Rhode Island.”

“Rhode Island continues to lead the nation in offshore wind, and the establishment of Ørsted’s Innovation Hub in Providence is another positive development for the industry and our state,” said Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. “We were pleased to work closely with Ørsted to support the framing and formation of this hub. And we will work collaboratively with the company to ensure the center's success. Ørsted will join companies such as GEV Wind and Boston Energy at CIC as the industry continues to flourish in Rhode Island. We are grateful to Ørsted Offshore Wind CEO Martin Neubert and Governor Gina Raimondo for their leadership in the fields of green energy and the blue economy.” 

Ørsted and the CIC-based cadre will frequently host meetings and larger gatherings of entrepreneurs and pioneers in the offshore wind energy field. As a result, this will be a dynamic team that draws upon new local talent as well as worldwide expertise in order to conduct its work and catalyze progress in this field. 

Ørsted has dedicated business units focusing on maturing and deploying technology towards its asset projects. Furthermore, Ørsted is the market leader with a significant portfolio of assets in operation and in the pipeline. Ørsted can therefore, quite uniquely in the industry, act as a commercial and technical accelerator for new technology, providing both the necessary engineering, operational, and commercial expertise when a product is adapted to offshore, while also providing access to a significant portion of assets for first adaptation of a technology.   

“We believe that there is great value to be gained by working with the booming blue tech ecosystem,” said Jens Patrik Edvardsen, Head of Innovation at Ørsted Offshore. “As small nimble players can provide significant benefit and new solutions to Ørsted, so can Ørsted provide a fantastic platform for maturation and growth to companies with unique and relevant solutions. We look forward to increasing our collaboration with the innovation ecosystem.”

The Innovation Hub team will be Ørsted’s first point of contact for any U.S. technology companies interested in contracting with Ørsted Offshore.  On a bi-monthly basis the Innovation Hub will host open door days, welcoming established companies and start-ups to present their technologies and test solutions. On top of this the team will host quarterly pitch days where a pre-qualified set of startups will pitch their possible solutions to Ørsted. 

Ørsted has a successful history of identifying and leveraging external innovation. Most notably, the company signed a venture deal in 2019 to invest in the Scottish company Pict Offshore. Pict developed the Get Up Safe (GUS) system, which is a motion compensated hoist solution that enables technicians to safely transfer between small moving vessels and offshore wind turbines. By working with Pict and incorporating the GUS system into its Operations and Maintenance functions, Ørsted will be able to improve both the safety and efficiencies of its maintenance efforts. 

“Partnering with Ørsted provided us with the quickest path to bring our technology to market,” said Philip Taylor, Managing Director at Pict Offshore. “The company understands the value that innovation brings to offshore wind and can provide the right resources and opportunities to develop good ideas into realized, deployable technologies.”