A new pan-European project, the Ocean Power Innovation Network (OPIN), which aims to accelerate the development of the ocean energy sector was launched in Ireland last month. With a three-year budget of €2.6 million, €1.5 million funded by INTERREG North West Europe, the project is led by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), in partnership with organisations from the UK, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands, and will explore ways to unlock the potential of this renewable energy resource.
Partners in the project include:
- Scottish Enterprise (UK)
- Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (UK)
- Sirris, the collective centre of the technological industry (Belgium)
- West Atlantic Marine Energy Community, Centrale Nantes (France)
- Dutch Marine Energy Centre (Netherlands)
- Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (Germany)
OPIN will encourage collaboration between the ocean energy sector and other sectors, such as oil and gas, automotive, aerospace, ICT, advanced materials, sensors, and manufacturing, to identify ways to grow the ocean energy supply chain. Partners are calling on businesses with expertise that can be used in the ocean sector to join the OPIN project, explore collaboration opportunities with other organisations, and avail of the supports available.
Jan Reid, Senior Manager, Low Carbon Technologies at Scottish Enterprise - a partner in the project - said: “Ocean energy can contribute significantly to a low carbon economy. This project will provide a platform to access services and collaboration opportunities across North West Europe, providing targeted support and allowing companies in this developing industry to come together and work with other sectors. Scottish Enterprise is pleased to be working with our partners to deliver this project."
Jim Gannon, CEO of SEAI said: “The basic premise of OPIN is to encourage cross-sectoral and cross-regional collaboration for offshore renewable energy SMEs. This will bring proven expertise, capabilities and products into the ocean energy sector. As we work to remove barriers to offshore renewable energy development, OPIN will help to reduce costs and accelerate both technology and market development.”
Simon Cheeseman, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s - Sector Specialist Wave & Tidal, said: “ORE Catapult is delighted to be an OPIN delivery partner. Collaboration and successful transfer of technology are essential activities to accelerate development, establish best practice, drive standardisation and reduce costs across the ocean energy sector.”
Florent VINCE, Project Development Officer at West Atlantic Marine Energy Community (WEAMEC) said, “Development in the ocean energy sector requires international collaboration, and cross-fertilisation of ideas between SMEs in different regions and sectors. SMEs also need to be aware of the possibilities for development and innovation in the OE sector. WEAMEC is delighted to be work package leader for the creation of a transnational network which will provide support, training, and a forum for cooperation and collaboration.”
Bart Teerlinck, team leader Metal Product Solutions, SIRRIS, said, “Offshore energy is a growth market with a big export potential for Flemish companies. It is also a challenging market characterized by its capital-intensive and high-risk profile, multidisciplinary diversity and the presence of a strong driver to increase performance and reduce costs. Sirris is eager to participate in this international cluster to bring the economic potential of ocean energy in Flanders to the maximum.”
Justin den Hartog, Head of Operations, Dutch Marine Energy Centre added, “Cross- sectoral collaboration is essential for accelerating the marine energy sector. We are delighted working together with our international partners to create new solutions and establish a long-term network for innovation.”
Picture caption (main image): OPIN partners speaking at the projects launch event at the SEAI Energy Show in the RDS, Dublin [L-R Liam Curran (Enterprise Ireland), Peter Coyle (Marine Renewable Industry Association (MRIA)), Sam McCloskey (Centre for Advanced Sustainable Energy (CASE)), Colm de Burca (Electricity Supply Board (ESB)), Karen Fraser (Scottish Enterprise), and Declan Meally (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland)
Picture caption (secondary image): OPIN partners speaking at the projects launch event at the SEAI Energy Show in the RDS, Dublin [L-R Liam Curran (Enterprise Ireland), Peter Coyle (Marine Renewable Industry Association (MRIA)), Sam McCloskey (Centre for Advanced Sustainable Energy (CASE)), Colm de Burca (Electricity Supply Board (ESB)), Karen Fraser (Scottish Enterprise), and Declan Meally (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland)]