MaRINET supports testing of concepts and devices in areas such as wave energy, tidal energy, offshore-wind energy and the environment, to accelerate Europe-wide development of marine renewable energy. The funding seeks to remove financial barriers for the first time by enabling companies and research groups to access unique world-class European testing facilities outside their own country, which is generally not covered under national grant schemes.
The initiative, with at least four calls for applications, runs until 2015 and the first call for applications opened on the 1 st of December. Potential users, who must work in Europe or a country associated to the European FP7 programme, are invited to apply to access this first call.
The network consists of 42 testing facilities at 28 research centres in 12 countries. By linking these marine renewable energy testing facilities and using an agreed testing framework, this initiative now provides a clear path to commercialisation by allowing users to seamlessly progress their device through each phase of testing. All participating centres will use common standards, conduct research to improve their own testing capability and provide training to enhance expertise in the field.
Wave Energy Centre is offering its Wave Energy Plant testing facilities at Pico Island. A significant number of European companies and research groups are expected to apply to use these facilities. António Sarmento of Wave Energy Centre, called on Portuguese companies and research groups to apply for funding to access European facilities through MaRINET:
‘‘MaRINET offers a unique opportunity to access these world-class European test facilities in order to validate and progress concepts at any stage of development, and to ultimately harness the untapped renewable energy resources that are abundant around the European coastline. This is a great opportunity to advance marine renewable research testing and commercial development for both Portugal and European companies and research groups”, he said.
Interested groups should complete the online application form on http://www.fp7-marinet.eu/. The closing date for applications is 29 February 2012.