The €2.5 million (US$2.8 million) Blue-GIFT (Blue Growth and Innovation Fast Tracked) program has opened its first call for applications, with a goal to support a minimum of eight floating wind, wave or tidal demonstration projects.
Funded by Interreg Atlantic Area, Blue-GIFT is an ocean energy technology demonstration program designed to encourage longer-term demonstration and technology de-risking across the Atlantic Area regions.
The first call offers support package vouchers to ocean energy companies for access to demonstration sites, lowering costs for testing and validating technologies in real sea environments.
A series of test site access vouchers will be offered to successful applicants to support testing of devices and subsystems at:
- BiMEP (wave and floating wind) in the Basque Country, Spain;
- PLOCAN (wave and floating wind) in Gran Canaria, Spain;
- SEENEOH (hydrokinetic and tidal) in Bordeaux, France;
- WavEC (wave and floating wind test centre) in Agucadoura, Portugal
Whilst not eligible for applications within the Blue-GIFT program, the project consortium includes three additional ocean energy test facilities that will support the project with technical expertise gained from running the Interreg North-West Europe FORESEA program:
- EMEC (wave and tidal) in Orkney, UK (Blue-GIFT lead partner);
- SmartBay Ireland (wave and floating wind) in Galway, Ireland;
- Centrale Nantes / SEM-REV (wave and floating wind) in Nantes, France.
“Blue-GIFT will provide a significant boost to getting ocean energy demonstrator projects into the water throughout the Atlantic Area, maximizing the use of existing infrastructure across the region,” said Ruari Brooker, Blue-GIFT project manager at EMEC. “The program offers both in-country and cross-border support for pre-commercial ocean energy demonstration projects, and we encourage technology developers to get in touch to find out how this program can support their demonstration needs.”
Blue-GIFT is open to any enterprise wishing to demonstrate ocean energy technologies in real-sea conditions. The applicant must own the technology (or rights to the technology) being tested or validated.
The call will close on September 6.