The European Union (EU) has granted €11m to a project which will bring together marine energy test facilities in Europe to help test and demonstrate tidal, wave and offshore wind technologies in real-time conditions.

The project, known as the Funding Ocean Renewable Energy through Strategic European Action (FORESEA), will be led by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) and will be supported by European industry group Ocean Energy Europe.

It will be backed by the Interreg North-West Europe (NEW) program, which is part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The project involves ocean energy test facilities including EMEC in Orkney Islands, UK; SmartBayin Galway, Ireland; SEM-REV in Nantes, France; and Tidal Testing Centre in Den Oever, Netherlands.

EMEC commercial director Oliver Wragg said: “Europe is currently leading the world in ocean energy development.

“The FORESEA programwill help cement this lead by stimulating a critical mass of technology development activity, bridging the gap between ocean renewables R&D and the marketplace, whilst neatly building on existing EU initiatives currently supporting wave and tidal energy technology development across Europe.”

A series of funding and business development support packages will be offered by Foresea to TRL 5+ ocean energy technology developers in a bid to test and demonstrate their technologyin real-sea and grid-connected conditions.

The first call for applicantsseeking packages is planned to be announced later this month.

Wragg added: “The cost of pre-commercial testing and demonstration for ocean energy is high and investors are generally reluctant to invest until the technology has been proven in the sea at scale.

“FORESEA will provide financial assistance to Europe’s most promising ocean energy innovators and help them ‘get metal wet’, get their technologies tested in real-sea conditions and get private investments flowing into the sector.”