[05 March 2021]

Offshore Wind conference to be hosted on new virtual Aura Innovation Centre platform

A leading Humber wind conference is to be the first major event hosted on a ‘game changing’ virtual platform developed by a team from Aura and Humber SME Clay10 Creative.

Delivering an immersive online experience with the ability to host business interactions, networking and presentations in real time, the new virtual platform is a ‘digital twin’ of the £12M Aura Innovation Centre, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and led by the University of Hull.

Described as ‘innovation in practice’ by Director of Aura, Louise Smith, the platform is a virtual environment specially designed to bring people together when meeting face-to-face is constrained – for example by Covid-19 restrictions or geography.

Offshore Wind Connections 2021 (OWC2021), being held April 21 and 22, will be the first major event to use the platform, providing an authentic and immersive experience for delegates while showcasing exhibitors, sponsors and leading industry speakers.

The specialist event, run by Team Humber Marine Alliance, is now in its 8th year and has grown in stature along with the offshore wind sector in the region, attracting hundreds of visitors from the UK and globally.

For OWC2021, Team Humber Marine Alliance has partnered with Aura and headline sponsorship of the event is from Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.

Andrew Oliver, Chair of Team Humber Marine Alliance, said that the opportunity to use the technology developed by Aura would create ‘new conversations’ amongst delegates.

“Although you will take part in OWC2021 from your desk, you will feel that you are inside the AIC building and the technology offers incredible potential for networking.”

After creating an avatar, delegates will enter the virtual AIC, move around the building and network with people of their choice. They can ‘take a seat’ and watch presentations broadcast via the Team Humber Marine Alliance news channel straight onto the screen in the lifelike, real-time AIC conference space.

Andrew Oliver added:

“Delegates can easily check out who’s ‘in the building’, chat with them, video call them and even get together in groups – and it’s very simple to use.

“After a year of uncertainty and social distancing, we are really pleased that Aura has partnered with us and enabled us to access this game changing conference platform. We are immensely grateful for their input and to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for their headline sponsorship.”

Louise Smith, Director of Aura said:

“Our new virtual Aura Innovation Centre is an ideal example of innovation in practice. We have worked with Humber SME Clay10 Creative to develop the digital platform which enables Offshore Wind Connections, and many other events, to go ahead, even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is a big year for the Humber region and the UK as a whole, with attention firmly on the climate change agenda and the national race to Net Zero. Offshore wind has an integral part to play in response to both of these challenges so it’s vital that we provide opportunities to connect and explore developments across the sector together.”

In addition to the headline sponsorship from Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, platinum event sponsors include ABP, Ørsted, and ORE Catapult, with the silver sponsor being Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm. The conference is also being supported by RenewableUK, and the line-up of speakers will be announced over the coming weeks.

The price of a conference pass, which will allow full access to the virtual exhibition, networking and presentations, is £90 plus VAT with a reduction for Team Humber Marine Alliance members.

For further details and to book your place, visit the OWC2021 website.