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Basse-Normandie creates a research and innovation network for marine renewable energy

Network designed to reinforce relations between the industry's decision-makers and regional SMEs and laboratories for the purpose of encouraging collaborative projects for MRE.

The formation of the Marine Energy Research and Engineering Network was announced at the recent Thetis MRE conference -- the international Marine Renewable Energy show held in Cherbourg last week. Founding organisations include the West Normandy Marine Energy (WNME) and the Regional Mission for Innovation and Economic Development Action (MIRIADE).  

This marine energy research and engineering network gathers 21 research and innovation organizations of Basse-Normandie, from GREYC to CRISMAT. The network will focus on a total of ten topics based on four main fields of expertise:

Installations and environmental impact (knowledge and modeling)
Materials: (design, optimization, performance, robustness)
Energy production and storage: (modeling and simulation)
MRE acceptance: (analysis, regulations, modeling)

As part of MIRIADE's management of a Technical Committee on Research and Innovation, regular meetings – titled "R&D Bridge Days" – have been organized from the outset to bring together Basse-Normandie laboratories and industry players. The official signature of an agreement to establish an MRE Research and Innovation Network last week represents an additional step towards organizing research expertise to strengthen the ties between the industry and laboratories, as a logical continuation of actions already carried out.

This structure represents a solid response to industrialists' needs in terms of R&D, particularly in the context of two major MRE projects in Basse-Normandie: the offshore wind turbine farm at Courseulles-sur-Mer and the pilot wave turbines at Raz-Blanchard.

"We created West Normandy Marine Energy by uniting the Basse-Normandie territory's forces, networks, and partners to help boost this new industry sector," said Laurent Beauvais, president of the Basse-Normandie Region. "The existence of this synergy positions Basse-Normandie as a world-class player in the field of energy diversification. Today, leveraging the successful actions that we have carried out over the past two years, a real MRE Research and Innovation Network has been founded, comprised of Basse-Normandie academic and industry partners. These stakeholders will be able to make an impact and grow alongside changes in the Marine Renewable Energy field."

On hand for the official signing last week were: Frédéric Le Lidec, director of MRE at DCNS ; Jérôme Pécresse, president Alstom Renewable Power; and Frédéric Petit, business development, Siemens Energy.  "R&D expertise is one of the strong foundations that we leverage to bring our MRE projects maturation," :Le lidec noted. "As such, we are pleased with this Basse-Normandie initiative, which, through the network, will unite all of its research centers and provide us with interesting insight regarding their work topics that match our own issues. The MRE Research and Innovation Network represents an additional tool among the resources implemented by Basse-Normandie to support development in the MRE sector by our side”.

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Energy infrastructure  •  Wave and tidal energy