WES launches £3 million innovation call

Illustration (Photo: WES)
Illustration (Photo: WES)

Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has launched its third competitive funding call focused on structural materials and manufacturing processes for wave energy technology.

This £3 million call is for engineering design studies into Structural Materials and Manufacturing Processes, specifically on the construction of the WEC structure and prime mover and whether it is possible to make a step change impact in levelised cost of energy (LCOE) by constructing typical WEC devices from alternative materials.

WES is seeking project proposals on the following topics:

  • Hybrid Structures (for example incorporating rotationally moulded polymers, fibre reinforced composites and/or steel)
  • Elastomers (or polymers that generally have a low modulus and a very high elastic strain range)
  • Concretes (including high performance concrete, cement-replacement concretes, and replacements for steel reinforcement)
  • Other alternative materials that could provide a step change in LCOE

WES will cover 100% of project costs for the first stage of this three-stage programme by providing up to £250,000 per project of up to 12 months duration, with applicants free to contribute further funds if desired.

Applications for the call are due by September 8, 2016.

Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland’s Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, said: “We recognise the great talent and wide range of expertise which exists beyond the wave energy sector and this call is designed to encourage the transfer of knowledge from other sectors. We believe Wave Energy Scotland provides a model platform for a collaborative effort between various industries here in Scotland and elsewhere.”

Tim Hurst, Managing Director of WES, added: “In our third call, we are very keen to engage materials developers and manufacturers from out-with the sector. We know there are industries which have specialised experience of testing various materials and of their manufacturing processes. WES needs to tap into that expertise and build working relationships with these companies, by bringing them into the programme to discover which materials are best suited to WEC construction.”

To remind, WES’ first call, for innovative power take-off Systems (PTO), closed on the May 22, 2015 and received a wide range of applications through the various call stages with £6.25 million awarded.

Novel wave energy converters concepts and designs were sought for the second call which closed on August 13, 2015. A total of £2.25 million for eight separate projects was allocated.

The 25 projects from both calls are underway, with 80 organisations currently involved in the WES technology innovation programme.

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