Illustration/Wave energy device (Photo: YouTube/Screenshot)
February 20, 2023, by Amir Garanovic
The University Marine Energy Research Community (UMERC), coordinated by the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust (POET), has published a report which provides systematic analysis of the marine energy research and innovation ecosystem within the United States.
The UMERC report describes the existing marine energy-related research activities in the US, analyzes the effectiveness of the research ecosystem, and follows its evolution over time.
The Technological Innovation System (TIS) analysis was carried out to identify the current state of knowledge exchange and innovation in the marine energy sector within the US. The objective of the TIS analysis is to provide a baseline for understanding what research has recently occurred, is ongoing, and gaps in the research infrastructure.
The report draws on other research in innovation systems and policy to provide recommendations for strengthening the TIS to support innovation in the US sector, and was modeled on similar analyses in European energy contexts.
Many of the recommendations span multiple organizations and scales, and so each actor will have different capacities for implementing the changes.
UMERC report recommends the creation of cohesive, realistic, and focused strategy that provides a roadmap for innovation in the sector, and calls for predictable support to reduce risk and build entrepreneurial experimentation.
Also, UMERC advocates for the alignment of marine energy industry with adjacent sectors to draw in relevant knowledge and talented workforce, and endorses the continued knowledge production and exchange within the sector.
“We hope that there will be something in this report for everyone: from those new to marine energy, who want to understand the current state of the sector, to those who have been dedicated to innovating marine energy for many years,” UMERC said.
As part of the ongoing research, an annual survey will continue to be administered to all UMERC members, with membership open to anyone interested in the marine energy sector. The annual survey is designed to verify current information and completeness and evaluate knowledge transfer and collaboration within the marine energy community.
The goal is to capture both qualitative and quantitative metrics that can track changes in the US marine research community over time. The results from the survey will inform future directions and identify gaps for UMERC to help overcome.
The outcomes of the first annual UMERC survey from 2022 are contained in this report and will form a baseline for future surveys, the association said.
UMERC is a US Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office-sponsored program coordinated by POET, which fosters collaboration withing the US marine energy research community and amplifies the impacts of foundational research.