Interactive online portal launched to support UK’s marine energy supply chain

Graphic of crashing waves

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has launched an interactive digital portal to support the development of the UK’s developing marine energy supply chain and facilitate better engagement between buyers and sellers.

The Marine Energy Supply Chain Gateway (MESCG), supported by funding from Scottish Enterprise, RenewableUK, and the Welsh Government, draws together, for the first time, regional supplier databases into a UK-wide information source. It provides a practical resource for new market entrants, aiming to put buyers in touch with sellers and making sure that organisations that need products and services can find the companies that can supply them.

A successful marine energy industry will be built on a strong, growing and productive supply chain. So far, supply chain development has been on a mainly local or regional basis. But with a UK-wide economic growth opportunity, and major projects well established across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, local aspirations and activities must be aligned and coordinated nationally.

The MESCG is a step towards creating a virtual trading space for marine energy, where market opportunities are clearly visible, supply chain capabilities are clearly understood, and the cross-sector transfer of skills and technologies is second nature. All of this is vital to further sector development – increasing market confidence, encouraging investment, and facilitating further innovation and potential cost reduction.

The MESCG offers:

  • A UK-wide supplier directory offering greater visibility of organisations offering capability in the marine energy sector.
  • Information to help potential new entrants to the marine supply chain make sound business decisions on how they can best participate in the sector.
  • Fast and effective national search and discovery function.

In constructing the portal, ORE Catapult worked with data suppliers, owners and users across the sector, building key partnerships with UK trade organisations including the funding partners and RegenSW, Invest Northern Ireland, Scottish Renewables and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Simon Cheeseman, Wave and Tidal Sector Lead for ORE Catapult, said: “For the first time, we have an effective method of bringing together UK-wide information on the marine energy supply chain. Prior to the development of MESCG, undertaking a search on a national basis would require the user to visit and search each database individually – a time-consuming task.

“MESCG provides ease of access to an informed and engaged supplier base and fosters cross-sector cooperation. It raises the visibility of supply chain companies to the global market and also offers a level of sector familiarisation for those wishing to diversify into the sector. All this allows us to exploit national opportunities for supply chain development, increased productivity and job creation.”

Louise Tobin, project manager at Scottish Enterprise said: “Scottish Enterprise is working closely with companies across Scotland to take advantage of the growing opportunities in the marine energy sector, both here and overseas. This includes our Marine Energy Supply Chain Expert Support programme, which is helping build a strong supply chain in the sector. The new portal will is significant step in supporting this work, and will help develop new relationships between both developers and our supply chain.”

RenewableUK’s Director of Policy – Technologies, Dujon Goncalves-Collins: “The UK’s marine energy industry is working hard to build a strong supply chain, which draws on the wealth of business expertise in this country. This resource will be of real assistance in achieving that, by connecting the right suppliers to the right customers.”