On March 4 innovators Reefy, ReefSystems and ILVO Flanders competed by pitching their solution to two challenges De Rijke Noordzee has issued in 2020. Reefy and ReefSystems presented their solution in relation to biodegradable reefs and ILVO Flanders for efficient biodiversity monitoring. During a live stream at De Oude Bibliotheek in Delft, the jury declared Reefy the winner of the Challenge 2020. By winning the challenge they have won expert coaching, a possible launching customer, publicity support and a test opportunity for a pilot in the North Sea.
Innovation for nature
Reefy took on the mission of designing the perfect biodegradable artificial reef as a solution for the 2020 Offshore Wind Innovation Challenge. They 3-D printed reefs of multiple substances that will degrade within 30 years. “In their journey Reefy was very adaptive to the questions from De Rijke Noordzee for a solution. The purpose of the Challenge to lower the barrier between technology solution providers and those seeking for innovative solutions was perfectly met: Again a Challenge has found a solution!”, Martin Weissmann of TKI Wind op Zee.
The Jury consisted of 3 experts: Renate Olie (Marine Biologist working on nature enhancement in offshore wind farms at De Rijke Noordzee), Marin van Regteren (environmental specialist and researcher Marine Life and Nature Enhancement at Eneco) and Remment ter Hofstede (Marine Ecologist and Engineering Specialist Marine and Coastal Ecology at Van Oord). Renate Olie, from De Rijke Noordzee and spokeswoman of the jury substantiated: “A large benefit of a biodegradable reef is that decommissioning costs will be saved and nature will not be disrupted after the life-time of offshore wind farms. The jury was convinced by the multifunctional design of the solution of Reefy. The fact that they have already tested the solution in collaboration with Wageningen University and Deltares provided relevant insights. And their enthusiasm is catching.”
Leon Haines of Reefy: “The Offshore Wind Innovation Challenge was a spark for us to do innovation. Our next step is to get our material in the water and to contact the other finalists to see if collaboration is possible.” De Rijke Noordzee reacted positive and said to get in touch with both the winner as well as the other finalists soon, to see if they can implement the solutions in one of their projects.
The Offshore Wind Innovators Challenge is organized by TKI Wind op Zee.