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J+S Subsea’s latest venture aims to support their expansion into the offshore renewables sector.

The subsea controls engineering specialists have been selected for Fit 4 Offshore Renewables (F4OR), a 12-18 month ORE Catapult programme that will support them in accessing significant supply chain opportunities.

F4OR is a unique service to help the UK supply chain get ready to bid for work in offshore renewables and has been developed with input from the industry.

J+S Subsea is one of 20 businesses based in North-east Scotland on the latest round of the programme, which is funded by the Energy Transition Zone (ETZ) Ltd and delivered in partnership with the Nuclear AMRC and Opergy.

The companies selected come from a wide range of sectors and include services, such as consultancy, engineering, health and safety and asset inspection.

When a company successfully completes the programme, they have proven that they have the relevant knowledge, capability and competence to meet the required standard as expected to do business in the sector.

They will have shown that the systems, processes and knowledge are deeply embedded within the organisation and that they have plans to ensure that their standards will endure long into the future.

Managing director Phil Reid said: “Demand is high for places on F4OR, with fewer than half of applications being successful, so we are incredibly pleased to be taking part.

“While we are looking for tangible outcomes in terms of new contract wins and company growth, there are many other benefits, such as expanding our business network and growing confidence in our abilities in new sectors.

“On average, there’s a 23% growth in turnover for businesses that complete the programme, and we are fully committed to making the most of the opportunity.”

The latest round of F4OR received 48 expressions of interest, from which 20 companies were selected. This brings the number of companies in Scotland supported through the Catapult’s industry-leading supply chain growth programme to 49, with 12 already achieving F4OR ‘Granted Status’.

The F4OR cohort announcement comes in the wake of the ScotWind leasing round results that presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to drive economic and supply chain growth and job creation within the offshore wind sector.

£250,000 has been awarded by ETZ Ltd to fund the programme. The not-for-profit company has a clear ambition to reposition the North-east of Scotland as a global leader in energy transition and delivery of net zero targets and is part of the Scottish Government’s £14.3million North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund (NEERSF).

North-east Scotland has a strong heritage of offshore operations from its world-leading role in the global oil and gas sector and is well placed to take advantage of the vast opportunity ahead with offshore wind.

F4OR looks to bring to the fore highly experienced companies in the region with the skills, expertise and ambition to support the energy transition.

As a result, preparing companies to be in the best possible position to bid for work within the sector off the back of ScotWind is a key component of the North-east Scotland F4OR programme.

In the first North-east Scotland cohort, cross-sector pull was significant, with 93% of successful applicants not considering offshore wind as their primary market.

Since taking part in the programme, several F4OR beneficiary companies in the region have secured contracts in the sector, including in the burgeoning floating wind market.

Andrew Stormonth-Darling, F4OR Programme Manager for ORE Catapult said: “The results from the ScotWind leasing round demonstrate a momentous opportunity for supply chain growth within Scotland, particularly in the North-east region.

“This in turn gives regional businesses the confidence to facilitate cross-sector business transition, taking advantage of critical expertise and experience in some of the UK’s leading industries to meet the green energy demand.

“The F4OR programme will be there to provide the springboard for promising companies to make the leap.”

The latest regional programme follows the announcement last month of the first national F4OR programme launched by the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) and 

delivered by ORE Catapult.

The national programme will build on the success of the regional F4OR programmes that have been delivered across the UK by ORE Catapult and its partners, Nuclear AMRC and Opergy. Applicants for the regional programmes must be geographically located within that region, but the national programme is open to companies based anywhere in the UK.

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