Foresea project: European funding for testing innovative MRE technologies at sea

28 Jul 2016
© Jean-Yves Gautier

€11 million and 4 European sites – including SEM-REV in Nantes, managed by Centrale Nantes and the CNRS – to fund sea trials under real conditions, off the Atlantic coast and in the North Sea. The aim is to establish the European project FORESEA in turn to encourage the marketing of innovative solutions in the field of marine renewable energy.

FORESEA, Funding Ocean Renewable Energy through Strategic European Action, is the name of the European project aiming to support experimentation at sea of innovative renewable marine energy (MRE) technologies. With €11 million from the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) of the Interreg NWE (North-West Europe) program, the FORESEA project will launch calls for proposals to select MRE technologies that will receive funding for their tests at sea.

Convincing investors

Led by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), the project will mobilise 4 test sites in Europe: EMEC in Orkney (Scotland), SmartBay in Galway (Ireland), TTC in Den Oever (Netherlands) and SEM-REV in Nantes (France) as well as the Ocean Energy Europe association.

“The cost of pre-marketing demonstration tests is high and investors are generally reluctant until the technology has been proven to work in real life,” admits Oliver Wragg, commercial director of EMEC. “The objective of FORESEA is to bridge the gap between R & D and the market, so that Europe retains its position as world leader in the development of MRE,” says Christian Berhault, director of the SEM-REV test site.

Financing SEM-REV trials

The developers of innovative technologies in the field of MRE will receive project funding of up to 60% of testing costs at the SEM-REV from FORESEA. This European financial support will complement other sources of funding available to conduct sea trials at the SEM-REV. Eligible innovative technologies for the call for proposals can be complete systems (for example: wave power, floating wind power, etc.), subsystems (subcomponents, drones etc.) and other value chain elements such as logistics solutions.

“For Centrale Nantes and the SEM-REV testing site, FORESEA is an essential tool to support innovative SMEs in the live demonstration of their MRE technology, and therefore, via these demonstration projects, contributes to strengthening the leadership of Europe and its regions in the development of MRE”, says Christian Berhault. “FORESEA also gives international visibility to the technologies tested for future commercial development.”

The Regional Agency, in its sector activity, is working to identify potential developers, and offer the successful applicants links with the regional eco-system to promote the entire value chain of the Pays de la Loire: companies that can provide them with products and services for the offshore test phase (measurements, studies, components, and sea operations). For this, the regional agency will use its usual partners, centres and regional competitiveness clusters. The regional agency will also aim to support technology developers selected, once tests are validated, in the search for investors for the commercialisation phase.

Applications open until September 25, 2016

A second call for applications will be launched by the end of the year, and then every six months.

The application documents are available at the following links:

More details on the FORESEA project from the project website:

Contact: Charlotte Sugliani, Marine Renewable Energy Department, Regional Agency:
c.sugliani@agence-paysdelaloire.fr00 33 (0)2 40 48 32 95