With good design and a smart material Ridderflex won the Offshore Wind Innovation Challenge 2018!

After three rounds, Dutch company Ridderflex is the winner of the Offshore Wind Innovation Challenge 2018! Ridderflex has made an innovative design to realize "The Perfect Fender" for SeaZip. The innovative fender will be tested offshore during the following months. 

Their polyether urethane fender is both robust and durable, and a great solution to the challenge formulated by SeaZip for the Offshore Wind Innovation Challenge. With the first prize Ridderflex not only wins an introduction to potential lead launching customers, prize money, an introduction at ORE Catapult and the option of running a pilot of their product on an offshore wind farm!

The perfect fender of Ridderflex

SeaZip is a maritime company specialized in crew transfers and support vessels for the offshore wind sector. SeaZip challenged the SMEs and Stat-ups to come up with an innovation for "The Perfect Fender" for their support vessels. When visiting an offshore wind farm for operations and maintenance, SeaZip’s vessels endure a lot of force and friction when connecting to a windmill, therefore they use fenders to protect their vessels from damage. The current fenders in the market suffer frequent wear and tear and often have to be replaced after 3 weeks. The cost for replacing a fender range between € 15,000 and € 30,000, not even taking into consideration the costs for downtime of the vessel and windmill. With no clear solution at hand this led SeaZip to enter the Innovation Challenge with their fender issues and challenged interested SMEs and Start-ups to come up with a more durable fender.

During the challenge Ridderflex made big steps in developing their idea from scratch to a well-designed fender. Hence SeaZip can start to test  this innovative fender within the coming months. A great collaboration between the companies where the 'problem owner' and the 'solution provider'have found each other in this contest.

Melsystems and Filtertechnick Ltd

Melsystems in collaboration with Filtertechnick Ltd were impressive other contender with a smart solution on the challenge ‘On the spot oil analysis’ from Gemini. Together they developed their new product: Particle Pal life, which speeds up the oil and grease sampling & analysing process of a windmill. Currently making an oil analysis is takes weeks, involving too much logistics, administration and is subject to errors due to samples getting lost or mixed up. Gemini looked therefore for a mobile device that would enable sample taking, analysing and possible resampling to take place at the turbine itself and also to have the data available in the back office at the same time. Particle Pal Life offers a solution by a revolutionary new tablet based portable oil analysis kit launched 2018 and give Engineers immediate insight  to the state of their oil and allowing Engineers to make informed choices. The Innovation Challenge has lead these two organisations to accelerate their collaboration to come to their final solution.  Please find  more insight about their product Particle Pal Life here.

Skeye and Prodrone

And the final candidate Skeye in collaboration with Prodrone have made it possible excecute blade inspections at night using a drone. Gemini has formulated this challenge to optimise the use of a transfer and service vessel during night time in a wind farm. For example to perform blade inspections by drones. Skeye and Prodrone have provided an innovative solution by drones, find here more insight about their product. Skeye and Prodrone collaboration has led to a pilot;  eventually they will run a pilot with DOT Power on their 0,5 MW pilot turbine at the Princess Amalia Wind Farm. 

Innovation Challenge 2018: one of a kind!

The first Innovation Challenge cycle has proven to be unique; normally a a general problem is proposed to startups or students try to find a solution. However the Offshore Wind Innovators asked the offshore wind industry to formulate its own challenges. This has led to new collaborations, and innovations which we can scale up: this is Innovation in its core! 

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