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Third Innovation Call for Wave Energy Scotland

18 July 2016

Wave Energy Scotland (WES) is running the most extensive technology programme of its kind to find a commercially viable method of harvesting Scotland’s huge wave energy resource.

WES is the national wave energy research and development body, funded by the Scottish Government and established as a subsidiary of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Its third call will investigate the suitability of alternative materials for use in the wave energy sector.

Steel has been used most widely in the past, but cheaper, more resilient materials will exist; this call aims to capture that knowledge and apply it to the construction of future wave energy devices.

WES is seeking project proposals for Structural Materials and Manufacturing Processes on the following topics:

  • Hybrid Structures (for example incorporating rotationally moulded polymers, fibre reinforced composites and/or steel)
  • Elastomers (or polymers that generally have a low modulus and a very high elastic strain range.)
  • Concretes (including high performance concrete, cement-replacement concretes, and replacements for steel reinforcement)
  • Other alternative materials that could provide a step change in the Levelised Cost Of Energy

This is the first of a three stage programme for the call.  Up to 100% of project costs, via a contract for research and development services, are available for Stage 1 activities. WES can offer up to £250K (excluding VAT) per project of up to 12 month duration, with applicants free to contribute further funds if desired.  WES’ overall budget for the call is up to £3.0M. Applications must be submitted by 8th September 12.00 GMT.

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse said:

“The Scottish Government recognises the continued progress Wave Energy Scotland is making towards their ultimate goal, which we very much share, of developing a commercially-ready wave energy converter.

“Our decision to provide sustained funding has allowed Wave Energy Scotland to provide this great opportunity for innovative materials manufacturers to become involved in this unique programme and to be part of a team developing genuinely novel ideas. In doing so manufacturers can be at the frontier of delivering the exciting potential wave energy has as a globally deployable technology for a World community that is determined to tackle climate change and to achieve a sustainable future.

“We recognise the great talent and wide range of expertise which exists beyond the wave energy sector and this call is designed to encourage the transfer of knowledge from other sectors. 

“We believe Wave Energy Scotland provides a model platform for a collaborative effort between various industries here in Scotland and elsewhere.

“This approach gives Scotland the strongest possible opportunity to both overcome the current challenges facing the wave energy industry, as an emerging technology, and to win the economic prize that will flow from being the global centre of excellence in what should become a technology of potentially great significance and commercial value”.

Tim Hurst, managing director of Wave Energy Scotland, added: “In our third call, we are very keen to engage materials developers and manufacturers from out-with the sector. We know there are industries which have specialised experience of testing various materials and of their manufacturing processes.   WES needs to tap into that expertise and build working relationships with these companies, by bringing them into the programme to discover which materials are best suited to WEC construction.

“We believe the WES approach will form a viable and long term route for wave technology development. Ultimately we want to see the collaboration between WEC developers and materials designers and manufacturers. When this happens on a wider scale, WES will take a huge step nearer to its goal to support the production of a wave energy device which will be economic to produce and survive the challenges of the marine environment.”

This is the third in a series of competitive calls from Wave Energy Scotland. The first call, for innovative power take-off Systems (PTO), closed on the 22nd of May 2015 and received a wide range of applications through the various call stages with £6.25m awarded. Novel wave energy converters concepts and designs were sought for the second call which closed on 13 August 2015. A total of £2.25m for eight separate projects was allocated. The 25 projects from both calls are underway, with 80 organisations currently involved in the WES technology innovation programme. All participants in the programme have access to the IP that WES holds as well as specialised training, further collaboration opportunities and product offers.

Applications for the call must be made through Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) [see notes to editors]. Interested parties must register with Public Contracts Scotland where, once they have recorded an interest in the Call, they will be able to download the call documentation, ask questions and upload their applications.

A Webinar will be held on 22nd July and a Brokerage Event is planned for 9th August in Edinburgh as part of the application process.  The Webinar will provide potential applicants with an opportunity to hear about WES, the call itself and to ask questions of the team.  Potential applicants will have the opportunity to meet members of the Scottish industry and investigate new partnerships or collaborations at the Brokerage Event.

Registration will be required for both the Webinar and Brokerage Event for those who wish to participate and/or attend the event.  Details are provided on PCS and on the WES website.

Notes for Editors

The third call is for research and development services into Structural Materials and Manufacturing Processes, specifically focused on the construction of the Wave Energy Converter (WEC) structure and prime mover. There are eight generally accepted WEC families. WES wishes to investigate whether it is possible to make a step change impact in the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) by constructing typical WEC devices from alternative materials.

The inherent challenge for the wave energy sector is to convert the high force provided by low velocity waves into appropriate motions required to generate electricity. This is coupled with the requirement for devices to survive extreme conditions whilst still requiring to be cost-competitive with other forms of offshore renewable energy.

It is likely that technology transfer from other sectors such as automotive, offshore wind, mining, aerospace, defence, maritime and oil & gas will be invaluable. Technology transfer from these sectors may have the opportunity to stimulate step changes in technology development in the wave sector via lower capital costs, and improved efficiency or reliability at the sub-system or device level.

Applications are through PCS website link:

Call deadlines
Description Dates Time
1 Contract Notice published 18/07/2016 
2 Information Webinar 22/07/2016
3 Brokerage Event 09/08/2016
4 Deadline for clarifications through PCS 24/08/2016 1200 hrs

5 Deadline for applications 08/09/2016 1200 hrs
6 Assessor Clarifications (if required) 02/11/2016
7 Contract Award 19/01/2017

Wave Energy Scotland (WES)
Wave Energy Scotland is a subsidiary of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and fully funded by the Scottish Government, which has allocated budget of £10m for the period to the end of March 2017.  For more information on WES, please go to

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