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Aura is a coalition of public and private sector partners collaborating successfully to support the development of the industry and sustain the UK as a global leader in offshore wind.

Aura is a ‘collaboration cluster’ that brings together global leaders in renewable energy Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and Ørsted, the universities of Hull, Sheffield and Durham, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC), CATCH (an industry led training partnership), the National Oceanography Centre and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Aura focuses on three fundamental and linked strands of activity:
  • Talent pipeline - to understand current and future skills requirements and deliver for those entering, progressing or returning to the sector.
  • Research, development and innovation - to identify and address the technical challenges facing a nascent industry
  • Industry engagement – supporting supply chain growth and development, and promote collaboration

Based in the Humber and with national and international reach, Aura supports increasing economic prosperity through;
  • Developing talent and the delivery of the skills the sector needs, using existing facilities and networks, whilst enhancing the digital learning offer and focussing on improved productivity.
  • Engaging business and nurturing the incubation of new opportunities to establish and enhance the UK supply chain for offshore wind
  • Innovating new processes, products and concepts to drive efficiency and enhance productivity.

Since 2016, these collaborative efforts have unlocked routes to around £30million in funding and investments to:
  • establish the Aura Innovation Centre (Sep 2019) co-located with a Business Engagement Centre (Apr 2019) to give the sector a focal point in the Humber and support supply chain development, innovation and collaboration
  • establish the UK Operations & Maintenance Centre of Excellence (Sep 2017) to identify priority operations and maintenance challenges in offshore wind and accelerate the development and deployment of innovation in the SME community
  • establish a £7.6m EPSRC-funded ‘Prosperity Partnership’ between academia and industry, developing novel generator, converter and wind blade technologies (Jul 2017)
  • publish sector employment growth forecast information (Jun 2017) and analyse skills needs (Apr 2018) by commissioning new national studies (Cambridge Econometrics and EU Skills).
  • enhance wellbeing and productivity of technicians working offshore on wind farms (£3.1m funding– EU Demowind and GreenPort Hull, Feb 2018);
  • conduct an Economic, Environmental and Socio-economic assessment of the ABP/Siemens investment in the Humber and develop methodologies for new developments (£0.5m, Green Port growth Programme, Dec 2017)

As the offshore wind sector continues to develop and new challenges emerge, Aura will remain agile and flexible to ensure it continues to meet sector needs. In this way, Aura offers a template in the Energy Estuary for a collaboration cluster capable of establishing the whole region as a global centre in offshore wind energy.

Link to the Aura website.