U.K. tech board seeks applications to fund marine energy devices

The United Kingdom’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) invites applications for funding to advance deployment of pre-commercial full-scale wave and tidal stream energy generating devices. Notices of intent to apply are due October 14, followed by applications October 21.

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led public body established by the U.K. government to promote and support research, development, and exploitation of technology and innovation to benefit U.K. business and increase economic growth. The board is expected to make ₤9 million (US$13.9 million) in awards soon in a previous competition, which closed in April. That funding is for innovative collaboration, research, development, and demonstration of wave and tidal stream technologies.

TSB plans to open the latest competition on September 13 for ₤3 million (US$4.6 million) in awards to advance deployment of pre-commercial full-scale marine energy devices. The competition targets devices that are installed and operating in the sea, and are seeking to progress rapidly toward support by the Carbon Trust’s Marine Renewables Proving Fund (HydroWorld 10/1/09) and full-scale deployment.

The awards are to invest in collaborative projects that last up to 18 months and require public sector funding of typically ₤250,000 (US$383,680) to ₤1 million (US$1.53 million). Projects can include applied research and development, attracting 50 percent public funding; experimental development, attracting 25 percent public funding; or a combination of both.

The competition is open to wave and tidal stream device manufacturers and to collaborations that will develop the U.K. supply chain and the skills necessary to deploy the technologies. Collaborations must be business-led and involve science-to-business and business-to-business interactions involving a minimum of two partners, one being industrial. Non-U.K.-based businesses are eligible to participate in consortia, but not as lead partners.

The awards are to support projects that address the following challenges:
o achieving continuous operation and the performances required to win support of the Marine Renewables Proving Fund;
o installation, operation, maintenance, and retrieval methods for full-scale devices;
o collation and analysis of data, and verification of performance in real sea conditions;
o supply chain development; and
o environmental issues.

Competition is to open September 13, followed by a briefing event September 22 to explain the application process and competition requirements. Competitors must register their intent to apply by October 14. Applications are due by noon October 21. Winning applicants are to be announced November 19.

Details of how to register and apply may be obtained from the TSB Internet site, www.innovateuk.org, under Competitions.

For information, contact Technology Strategy Board, North Star House, North Star Ave., Swindon SN2 1UE United Kingdom; (44) 300-3214357, (44) 1793-442700; E-mail: competitions@tsb.gov.uk; Internet: www.innovateuk.org.

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