The West Atlantic Marine Energy Centre (WEAMEC) brings together the marine renewables community in the Pays de la Loire region to foster research, innovation and training. The cluster and its partners have set out a Research and Innovation roadmap together.
WEAMEC has around 30 research members such as laboratories and organisations (including Centrale Nantes, Nantes University, “Jules Verne Research Institute”, EMC2 cluster…), and approximately 60 corporate members from across the region. Over 60 businesses from France and abroad collaborate with WEAMEC.
Over 500 regional, national and European projects worth €100 million have been launched for the 2015-2020 period thanks to the expertise and test facilities made available through WEAMEC’s regional members. Around 300 engineers and researchers, just from the cluster’s academic members, work on these projects – the full time equivalent of 170 positions.
WEAMEC is financed by Pays de la Loire Regional Council, the European Union (ERDF), CARENE (Local authority) and Nantes Métropole (local authority).
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Research & innovation
At the initiative of the Regional Council of the Pays de la Loire, academic and industrial actors in the fields of research, training and innovation worked to define a common strategy for structuring and further developing the dynamics of the regional MRE sector. The resulting roadmap lays out the following medium-term objectives:
- Develop fixed-structure wind power, especially in the extreme conditions (hard ground, strong swell, etc.) of the Atlantic coast area.
- Accelerate the transition from fixed to floating wind turbines.
- Move ahead with less mature MRE technologies, such as tidal energy, ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) and wave energy.
- Develop innovative technological building blocks for these different technologies.
WEAMEC is positioned at every stage of the MRE cycle, from preliminary studies to the management and operation of wind farms.
Skills & Expertise
Our main competences are ocean engineering, advanced manufacturing, Structural Heath Monitoring, Electrical engineering, Human sciences on the entire value chain from research to offshore exploitation.
Another strength of the WEAMEC ecosystem is the addition of substantial, unique, internationally renowned tests facilities for MRE Research and Development. Some of them are mainly dedicated to MRE and more generally to marine studies, like SEMREV, a Multi MRE technology Offshore Test Site, completed by wave tank equipped with wind, and towing tanks operated by the Ecole Centrale de Nantes.
But you can also find other facilities which are not devoted to MRE, but which can bring major significant contributions for their developments like:
- One of the biggest and well-equipped centrifuge worldwide operated by IFSTTAR for geotechnical studies,
- The most important wind tunnel in France operated by CSTB,
- Mechanical testing for cables – IFSTTAR
- Energy System test benches (800 kW – Hard In the Loop) – CEA Tech
- Numerical simulation – high performance computing – ICI – Centrale Nantes
- Virtual Reality Center of Saint Nazaire (CIRV) – Jules Verne Technological Research Institute (IRT)
- Advanced manufacturing and non-destructive control processes: Robotic finishing (up to 18 m) and Fatigue test bench (up to 8 m) from Jules Verne Technological Research Institute (IRT), X-ray computed tomography (up to 9 m) from CEA Tech
Broad-based comprehensive training
- Training from operator to engineer level covering all disciplinary fields
- 15 master’s and engineering courses covering all marine sciences
- More than 300 students receiving initial training each year
- Over 20 executive training modules