Dr Marie-Lise Schläppy
The ocean energy community gathered this month in Halifax, Canada for the International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE) Several representatives of the University of Highlands and Islands (UHI) were representing their respective institution, amongst others Dr Marie-Lise Schläppy, research fellow at the Environmental Research Institute which is part of the North Highland College in Thurso. The aim of the conference was to inform the marine renewable energy community about the newest developments in wave and tide resource assessment, innovation in new technology designs, and policies towards this type of renewable energy, at the European and United Kingdom level. Representatives of commercial ventures were there, along with scientists and representatives from the Carbon Trust (UK), Innovate UK, International Scotland, Highland and Islands Enterprise and the European Union.
Information was shared in three formats: plenary presentations by key players in the field, smaller more specialised presentations on a specific theme, poster sessions and an exhibition area. The University of Highlands and Islands was represented among the exhibitors by Marine Energy Research Innovation and Knowledge Accelerator (MERIKA) Project Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Manager, Damian Collins. The MERIKA stand was in the Scottish section of the exhibitors area which also had booths from England, France, Canada, United States and Ireland. In total, 350 delegates were present, representing a range of nations such as China, Australia, Chile, and more.
Our region was well represented with companies such as Pelamis, Green Marine, EMEC and Maygen who was awarded the ICOE 2014 Navigator price for “the most significant advance” in ocean energy development.
Both the UHI researchers from ERI, SAMS and Lews Castle and the MERIKA project manager, returned from the conference with many ideas for collaborations with fellow researchers and institutions. More particularly, the Institute of ocean energy, at Acadia University, Energies Marines the College of the North Atlantic, and the Nova Scotia Community College were singled out as institutions having many complementary and also similar interests in the field of marine renewable research. Identifying potential partners is important so that ERI can start building up a base of collaborations across Europe and the rest of the world. In the future, ERI along with the rest of the Marine Renewable Energy group at UHI is hoping to apply for European funding with a number of European and other partners. The next ICOE conference will take place in Edinburgh in 2016 which will allow a strong presence of all UHI researchers whose topic of research relate to the ocean energy field.
For more information: http://www.icoe2014canada.org/icoe-speaker-presentations/