What is Aura?
Aura brings together multidisciplinary excellence, knowledge and innovation for the offshore wind industry. It was set up in 2015 to enable collaboration between key stakeholders from the Humber region, nationally and globally.
Our mission is to identify and break down technical, operational and economic barriers to reduce the costs of offshore wind energy and boost the economy for UK plc.
Through three main areas of focus, our aim is to help establish a truly vibrant offshore wind industry based in the Humber region with global reach and influence.
How will it work?
Collaboration is the cornerstone of Aura. To deliver our vision we will engage academia, industry, NGOs, government and local government partners, focusing on three key areas;
- Creating a talent pipeline – The success of Aura will be people-driven. By developing the talent, skills and expertise needed by the offshore wind sector, we will contribute to creating a vibrant, mature and sustainable offshore wind industry.
- Engagement with Industry – we will engage extensively with industry, building and growing existing relationships to support economic growth through the essential supply chains.
- Research development and innovation - Through our coalition of partners, we will harness expertise and excellence to seek solutions to technical, operational and economic challenges in offshore wind.
Who is behind Aura?
The University of Hull conceived Aura in 2015 with a group of key partners. Our aim is to continue to develop networks of stakeholders in each of the three interconnected Aura strands. Aura key collaborators include:
- The University of Sheffield
- Humber LEP
- ORE Catapult
- Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy
- Durham University
- Green Port Hull
Organisations supporting Aura include:
- Hull City Council
- East Riding of Yorkshire Council
- North East Lincolnshire Council
- CBI - Yorkshire & Humber
- Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce
- JDR Cable Systems Ltd
- Team Humber Marine Alliance
- Hull City Leadership Board
- National Centre for Universities and Business
- IOD East Yorkshire (Humber)
The University of Hull has 15 years of offshore wind experience across a range of research areas and is committed to supporting the industry.
Over half of the installed offshore wind capacity in the UK is located off the East Coast of the UK – with Humber ports providing primary access. As the Energy Estuary, the Humber is ideally placed to service the large Round Three sites off the North East Coast of the UK.
The region has seen a £310 million investment by Siemens and ABP through re-development of the Alexandra Dock, in Hull.
Ørsted is committed to the region, operating the largest offshore wind farms from the Humber.
Employment for1,000 people has been created in an economically deprived area.
Green Port Hull – a collaboration between business, local government and the University to create a focus for renewable energy and regeneration.
Why is this happening now?
The timing of the development of Aura aligns with a number of important factors in the sector and region;
- The Opening of the Siemens factory in Hull on 1st December 2016.
- University of Hull – transitioning from theory to practice on live research programmes.
- Ørsted plans for a multi-million investment in Grimsby to create the UK's largest offshore wind operations and maintenance hub.
- Ørsted – consent decision for Hornsea Project Two announced on 16 August 2016 – world’s largest offshore wind farm located 89 kilometres off Yorkshire Coast.
What does Aura mean to the Humber Region and to the UK?
Aura will further establish the UK’s position as a world leader in the offshore wind sector, supporting the Government’s Industrial Strategy.
It will help to meet the UK’s carbon emissions targets and ensure energy security for the UK.
For the region, it will enhance and maintain the current momentum for regeneration within the Humber region, positioning it as a globally important centre in offshore wind.
The ultimate aim of lowered costs of offshore wind energy in itself presents cross-sector opportunities, which will see other benefits for the Humber Region.
It will also contribute to the continued development and growth of Humber economy.