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Fourth Innovation Call For Wave Energy Scotland

5th April 2017

Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has issued its fourth funding call for complete control systems suitable for use with a variety of wave energy converters.

Advanced control systems have the potential to play a vital role in the delivery of cost-effective wave energy generation technology. A control system for a wave energy converter should increase its energy capture capacity, detect and protect it from storms, whilst also reducing costs.

It is likely that suitable technologies already exist in many industrial sectors. Organisations from sectors such as robotics, mechatronics, electrical engineering, aerospace, automotive, mining, offshore and sub-sea vessel stability and manoeuvring could all have valuable contributions.

WES hopes to encourage collaboration between academia, industry, wave energy experts and these new sectors to approach this exciting control system challenge.

This call is for the first of 3 stages in the control systems programme. Up to 100% of project costs, via a contract for research and development services, are available under this call for feasibility study proposals. WES can offer up to £47,000 (excluding VAT) per project of up to 3 month duration, with applicants free to contribute further funds if desired.

Applications must be submitted by 12th June 12.00 mid-day.

Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, said: "I am delighted the Scottish Government's funding of this innovative programme is allowing WES to issue a fourth call for controls systems, the last essential component for wave energy converters. This call will draw power take-off, novel wave energy converters and materials projects together and start the integration process to create devices that will be ready for testing at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney in the future.

“The call offers a superb opportunity to engage with other sectors to facilitate knowledge transfer. We have every expectation that this experience and knowledge already exists in Scotland. This approach gives Scotland the best chance to find a resolution to the challenges which have been present in the wave energy industry."

Tim Hurst, managing director, WES said: “This call for control systems offers us a further opportunity to make connections with a new selection of companies. There is every possibility that suitable systems already exist in other sectors, and we would like to encourage applications from these technology developers. Companies who join WES at stage 1 will have access to considerable funding for concepts at later stages if they are successful in passing the stage-gate evaluations within our programme.”

WES is a subsidiary of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and fully funded by the Scottish Government. The new organisation is seen as a fresh approach to tackling the issues which have proved challenging in the wave energy sector.

This is the fourth in a series of competitive calls issued by WES. The successful feasibility studies from this latest call will be relatively short projects, up to three months in duration and forty seven thousand pounds each, excluding VAT. Funding up to twelve of these studies will allow WES to investigate a wide range of controls approaches and identify those to develop in detail. Stage one represents an opportunity to demonstrate potential and is a stepping stone to the higher funding values of stages two and three.

The first call, for innovative power take-off Systems (PTO), closed on the 22nd of May 2015 and received a wide range of applications through the various call stages with £6.25m awarded. Novel wave energy converter concepts and designs were sought for the second call which closed on 13 August 2015. A total of £2.25m for eight separate projects was allocated. A third call was opened for Structural Materials and Manufacturing Processes in July 2016, and closed 8th September, with 10 new projects awarded £3M in total. The subsequent projects from all of the calls are now underway. All participating organisations in the programme have access to the IP that WES holds as well as specialised training, further collaboration opportunities and product offers.

Applications for this call must be made through Public Contracts Scotland (PCS). Interested parties must register with Public Contracts Scotland where, once they have recorded an interest in the Call, they will be able to download the call documentation, ask questions and upload their applications.

An interactive Webinar will be held on Thursday 13th April and a Brokerage Event is organised for Friday 12th May in Edinburgh as part of the application process. The Webinar will provide potential applicants with an opportunity to hear about WES, the call itself and to ask questions of the team. Potential applicants will have the opportunity to meet members of the Scottish industry and investigate new partnerships or collaborations at the Brokerage Event.

Registration will be required for both the Webinar and Brokerage Event for those who wish to participate and/or attend the event. Details are provided on PCS and on the WES website.

PCS website link:

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