EU funded initiative facilitates access to test facilities for experimental marine renewable energy

Thanks to the MARINET 'Marine renewables infrastructure network' initiative, companies from countries FP7 countries will access to test facilities in specialist marine renewable energy centres across Europe. This initiative funded with €9 million Euro, will help remove some of the financial barriers that sometimes stand in the way of access to world-class European testing facilities.

Led by researchers at the Hydraulics and Maritime Research Centre (HMRC) at University College Cork in Ireland and funded as part of the 'Infrastructures' Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the MARINET 'Marine renewables infrastructure network' project will allow companies to carry out renewable energy testing at these centres at no extra cost.

The MARINET network is made up of 42 testing facilities at 28 research centres in 11 European countries as well as in Brazil. By linking these marine renewable-energy testing facilities and using an agreed testing framework, this initiative now provides a clear path to commercialisation: it allows allowing users to seamlessly progress their device through each phase of testing. All participating centres will use common standards, conduct research to improve their own testing capability and provide training to enhance expertise in the field.

The project, that will run until 2015, will have at least four calls that will allow interested companies to apply for the use of these infrastructures. Those interested in having access to one of them can submit their application within the first call for accessing MARINET facilities which has already been launched. This initiative focus on commercialisation, in line with the Commission's objective to speed up the rate of research outcomes reaching the marketplace.