Offshore wind-scientist appointed Mission Innovation Champion

John Olav Tande at SINTEF is appointed Norway’s Mission Innovation Champion for his innovative research and contribution in dissemination. The award was established by Bill Gates and among others former president Obama during the climate summit meeting in Paris, COP 21.

The winners were presented at the Fourth Ministerial Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, May 27. The prize goes to people who are developing future products and services related to the climate challenges. It is distributed to one representative from each participating country.

Throughout his long and productive scientific career, Chief Research Scientist John Olav G. Tande has made a significant contribution to the acceleration of the clean energy revolution in the field of offshore wind power, and floating wind farms in particular.

A huge impact for offshore wind

Tande’s achievements have made a huge impact on scientific advancement in this field and have resulted in concrete results in terms of cost reductions in the industry.

Tande was the initiator and Centre Director for the research centre NOWITECH, which operated for eight years with a budget of EUR 35 million. The centre was funded by the Research Council of Norway and its industry partners. SINTEF performed a study to calculate the potential and actual value of eight of the centre’s 40 innovations, revealing a net present value of about EUR 5,000 million, providing major future cost reductions in the offshore wind sector.

Examples of Tande and his team’s innovations include:

  • concepts that lead to reductions in electricity losses in subsea transmission cables
  • robotised inspection system for turbines
  • software for the optimisation of wind farm operations and maintenance, wind farm control and software for the design of turbines
  • a new durable coating to protect equipment in harsh offshore environments
  • tools to enable offshore grid investment planning

“Offshore wind is a key climate change mitigation technology – both globally and for Norway. I am pleased and very proud to receive this recognition together with my other able colleagues who have been awarded the title of Mission Innovation Champion. This is a good opportunity to talk more about offshore wind”, says John Olav Tande. “We are facing a major climate change challenge, and we will mitigate its effects using clean renewable energy. Offshore wind will be one of the components in this process, together with carbon capture and storage and energy efficiency measures”, he says.

“Through a long and productive scientific career, Teeth has greatly contributed to accelerating what is currently becoming a clean and renewable energy revolution. – An example of this is the Hywind project, where Equinor and partners have invested NOK 2 billion to develop what is today the world’s first park for floating offshore wind. The park has 5 wind turbines with a height of 253 meters and lies off the coast of Scotland, says SINTEF’s CEO Alexandra Bech Gjørv“.

Awarded for innovation and dissemination

While contributing to wealth creation and development of the offshore wind industry, Tande has also made important contributions to the scientific community. A recent example is the publication of the comprehensive text book “Offshore Wind Energy Technology” (Wiley). Tande’s outreach in Europe has been particularly extensive through his involvement in the ETP Wind and EERA JP Wind initiatives. His unwavering commitment has helped to boost collaboration between European Centres of Excellence, leading to better coordination and greater scientific advancements as a result.

The Champions are defined as individuals with a track record of advancing new and creative ideas that drive the pace and scale of the clean energy revolution. They work in a variety of fields and industries, but all are developing the products and services of the future and exploring the science that underpins them.

Mission Innovation has announced its nineteen Mission Innovation Champions – one from each participating country, and one from the European Commission (on behalf of the European Union).

Visit to read more about the award-winning innovations.