The CPMR Atlantic Arc Commission has presented the results of a benchmarking study on Marine Renewable Energies in this sea region, as part of the European “Atlantic Power Cluster” project (APC). This study helps partner Regions to see how Marine Renewable Energies are developing, so as to pool the efforts of different actors working within the Atlantic Arc. In addition, a stakeholder directory (research laboratories, universities, regional clusters, SMEs, industry, etc.) is being finalised in order to locate the most relevant actors in the sector. The report and study will ultimately help to establish a Transnational Marine Renewable Energies Cluster in the Atlantic Arc, which is one of the objectives of the APC project led by Ignacio Abaitua, head of international development at Sodercan, the Development Agency for Cantabria (ES).
Ramon Van Barneveld from the Maritime Affairs Directorate General of the European Commission took part in the presentation in relation to the implementation of the Atlantic Maritime Strategy, for which the Action Plan was adopted on 13 May. He recalled that “the European Commission needs benchmarking studies to enter the operational phase of the Atlantic Strategy Action Plan and assist stakeholders in the best way possible.”
From the private sector, Joao Freire Cardoso, Director of “ENONDAS” presented a test and development area for marine devices. “Though there is a high potential for Marine Renewable Energies to develop in the Atlantic, one major problem lies in connecting these energy sources up to the European energy market,” he said. Simon Fradet, project manager at NEOPOLIA-EMR, a cluster of 75 businesses specialised in the Marine Renewable Energies sector in the Pays de la Loire Region (FR), showed how the cluster actually helps SMEs to participate in collaborative flagship projects, stressing that “Marine Renewables is an emerging sector. By coming together as a cluster it is possible to assist SMEs in setting up consortia and help businesses acquire skills and become more competitive.”
Afterwards, participants in the meeting were given a presentation of the future centre of excellence “Technocampus Ocean” showing them how regional and EU public actors are working together in this area. This Future Technology Research Institute (TRI) devoted to metal materials and offshore structures will open in Pays de la Loire Region in 2014 and will accommodate key industrial and academic stakeholders in its 20,000 sqm premises