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NWE MEA - Marine Energy Alliance
We are now in the process of kicking off the service delivery with the 22 selected SME's after the first call for support. The second call for support will open in January 2020.
The Marine Energy Alliance (MEA) is a 4 year European Territorial Cooperation project running from May 2018 to May 2022. The project has a total budget of €6 million and is finacially supported by Interreg North West Europe, who provides €3.6 million of ERDF funding.
The aim of MEA is to progress the technical and commercial maturity level of early-stage (TRL 3 – 4) marine energy technology companies with the overall goal of reducing the risk of device failure in subsequent demonstration phases.
Via MEA, selected marine energy technology companies are able to receive a suite of tailored expert services that will enable them to realise their ambitions and, more broadly, contribute to the coherent growth of the marine energy industry in general.
Through participation in MEA, companies will gain access to the project partners’ world-leading expertise in marine energy development. Awarded companies will have the chance to work closely together with a transnational team of marine energy experts on both the technical advancement of their technology, as well as the development of their commercial strategy and business plans. Each service offer is intended to put the company’s technology and business firmly on the road towards successful commercialisation.
2-Stage application process
Access to the MEA Service Offer is awarded to companies via a two-Stage application process. The first Stage of the application process requests the applicant to submit an online Expression of Interest. The online Expression of Interest should be completed and submitted via the MEA project website. Successful applicants passing the first Stage are invited to take part in the second Stage of the application process. This Stage involves a 30-minute remote (online) interaction involving a brief pitch (5 – 10 minutes) followed by a Q&A session conducted by representatives of the MEA partnership.
Applications are evaluated using eligibility criteria and qualitative criteria. Applicants should ensure to familiarise themselves with the information in the Guidance Document before submitting their Expression of Interest.
The European Marine Energy Centre Limited
1 Old Academy
1 Western Rd
Ecole Centrale de Nantes
1 Rue de la Noë
6 Environmental Research Institute, Lee Road
1 Rue de la Noë
Stichting Maritiem Research Instituut Nederland
56 Jan van Galenstraat
University of Edinburgh
Old College, South Bridge
Dutch Marine Energy Centre
|Dutch Marine Energy Centre||Daphne Linzell||
|The European Marine Energy Centre Limited||Richard Ainsworthemail@example.com||United Kingdom|
|Ecole Centrale de Nantes||Thomas Soulardfirstname.lastname@example.org||France|
|Exceedence Limited||Raymon Alcornemail@example.com||Ireland|
|INNOSEA SAS||Félix Gorintinfirstname.lastname@example.org||France|
|Stichting Maritiem Research Instituut Nederland||Erik-Jan de Ridderemail@example.com||Netherlands|
|Navingo BV||Philip Mulderfirstname.lastname@example.org||Netherlands|
|University of Edinburgh||David Ingramemail@example.com||United Kingdom|
MEA aims to accelerate innovation and technological development in the European marine energy sector. The project’s focus lies in supporting early-stage technologies (TRL 3 to 4), with the overall goal of reducing the risk of device failure in subsequent demonstration phases. In order to achieve this goal, the project partners jointly offer an integrated suite of services to forty early-stage marine energy developers, to assist them in their technical and commercial development.
The services are tailored to each organisation’s specific needs and challenges. Each organisation will receive a unique Service Offer that addresses the technological and commercial challenges which keep their technology from progressing to the next TRL phase. Through participation in MEA, marine energy technology companies will gain access to the project partners’ world-leading expertise in marine energy development. Awarded companies will have the chance to closely work together with a transnational team of marine energy experts on both the technical advancement of their technology, as well as the development of their commercial strategy and business plans.
Companies wishing to apply to the MEA project are eligible to receive support if they comply with the following eligibility criteria:
- The applicant must be a legally established business entity classified as an SME;
- The applicant must be operationally based in one of the eligible countries of the INTERREG NWE programme area (Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland or the United Kingdom);
- The applicant must currently be developing a marine energy technology concept (wave, tidal, floating wind or solar, salinity gradient or Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion) which is at technology readiness level (TRL) 3 or 4.
For more information on eligibility criteria and the project's definition of technology readiness levels please check the Guidance Document
A Voucher for support is awarded to marine energy technology companies who submitted a successful application. The Voucher describes the services that MEA will offer to the company and has therefore a certain value. There is no direct (cash) funding available in MEA. Funding amounts will be determined in line with each company’s technical and commercial needs and the project partnership’s capacity to address these. Applicants should be aware that Voucher values may vary. Indicatively, an average value of approximately €50,000 to €75,000 per Voucher is expected. It is important to note that travel expenses cannot be reimbursed in MEA. The MEA partners will try to minimise these expenses where possible.
Following successful completion of the two-Stage application process, the selected marine energy technology companies will undergo a benchmarking process. This interactive process will identify each company’s specific technological and commercial developmental needs that will be tackled through service delivery by the project partners. The Service Offer each company will receive is subsequently formalised in a Voucher Contract, that will also outline the negotiated roles and responsibilities, financial arrangements and planning. The Voucher Contract will have to be agreed to and signed by all parties before service delivery starts in the Support Tracks. The Support Tracks take up about twelve months, and at the end of this period, aftercare plans will be formulated for each company to ensure their continued technical and commercial development.
MEA pooled its expertise in marine energy development to define a suite of technical and commercial support services to support and accelerate the development of marine energy concepts. In all, four technical and five commercial service types have been defined. More information on these service categories can be found in the Guidance Document. Please note that MEA does not fund actual tests and demonstrations in the partners' facilities. However, support can be offered for test planning and test model design. Information on the services on offer can be found in the Guidance Document.
In the Expression of Interest (Stage 1 of the application process) and during the pitch and Q&A session (Stage 2 of the application process), applicants are requested to indicate which services would best help them in reaching their next technical and commercial milestones. The provided answers will inform the allocation of specific services. Following a successful Stage 2 submission, companies will detail the final Service Offer in the benchmarking phase in close collaboration with the MEA partnership.
Yes. The MEA philosophy is that integrated technical and commercial support is required to boost innovation and technological development of early-stage marine energy technology companies. Therefore, each Support Track will combine at least one technical and one commercial service.
Organisations that wish to receive support from MEA can apply by following a two-stage application process. This process is outlined in the Guidance Document.
Evaluation will take account of information provided by the applicant in both Stages of the application process. Three overarching criteria will be used: strategic fit with the MEA project; buy-in to the MEA philosophy; and feasibility of delivering within MEA and beyond. See the Guidance Document for more information about these criteria.
In order to ensure quality engagement, MEA requires an investment in time from the awarded companies. The implementation of services will need to be viewed as a truly collaborative effort between the companies and MEA. Companies will be required to demonstrate their commitment by providing an ‘’in-kind contribution’’ (i.e. contribution in hours), equating to 15% of the value of the awarded Voucher.
Yes, this is acceptable.
In order to obey State aid regulations, all companies receiving support from the MEA project should comply with the de minimis rule for State aid. This rule determines that certain limited amounts of State aid do not significantly affect trade or competition and can therefore be awarded without notification to, or clearance by, the European Commission. The de minimis State aid any single company may receive is limited to €200,000 per EU Member State over a rolling period of 3 (fiscal) years.
While the available MEA funding per company is not in excess of this ceiling, organisations who have been granted de minimis State aid in the recent past, should ensure they respect this rule before submitting their first stage application. Accordingly, in the MEA Expression of Interest, applicants will be required to provide an assurance that prospective involvement in the Support Tracks, will not contravene this ceiling. For applicants whose bids are approved at Stage 2, a self-declaration document detailing de minimis funding already received over this period will be required as part of the subsequent negotiation of their Voucher Contract (see Section 5). Applicants should also note that eligibility for further public subventions over the course of the subsequent 3 years (i.e. to the end of 2021 based on the first Call for Applications) may be influenced by the MEA funding granted.
Applicants can be assured that they will be the sole owner of any results and outcomes relating to their technologies’ development including all associated Intellectual Property arising from participation in MEA. Neither the project, nor the INTERREG NWE programme will retain any equity stake in participating organisations nor their IPR. Specifics regarding these issues will be negotiated and agreed to the satisfaction of both parties in advance of the Support Tracks as part of the Voucher Contracts. These will be in line with normally established rules and regulations in the context of EU-funded projects. Some procedural outputs (e.g. reports and methodologies related to the MEA project partners and their service provisions) must be freely released into the public domain.
The MEA project has defined its own privacy guidelines in accordance with the EU’s GDPR legislation. See the Guidance Document for more information.
Visit www.nweurope.eu/mea and follow us on Twitter at @marine_alliance.
MEA - Guidance Document
This Guidance Document acts as a reference document detailing the application process for organisations aiming to apply for support from the Marine Energy Alliance (MEA). It is intended to serve as the primary source of information regarding the terms and conditions that apply to receive support from MEA.MEA Guidance Document
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