The CTC’s marine laboratory has been the most sought-after facility in Europe in the MaRINET2 second call for proposals

  • The MCTS El Bocal has received 5 of the 54 requests for access corresponding to the second period of activity of this prestigious European network.
  • The versatility of the Cantabrian facility, which allows studies to be carried out in real marine conditions, has earned considerable acceptance among European researchers.
  • MaRINET2 brings together 56 unique installations in 13 countries dedicated to marine renewable energy research.

The “Marine Corrosion Test Site El Bocal” marine laboratory, managed by the CTC Technology Centre, is the most sought-after European facility in the second edition of MaRINET2: a prestigious network of 56 unique infrastructures dedicated to marine renewable energy research. The specific characteristics of the laboratory, which offers three testing conditions (submerged, tidal or splash) depending on the exposure of the samples, together with its location in an open sea area, with an environment identical to that supported by offshore structures, have made the Cantabrian laboratory one of the most sought-after facilities in the network.

This was confirmed by the representatives of CTC who participated in the General Assembly of the MaRINET2 project held recently in Lisbon. During the second call of the project, opened between 15 January and 28 February, the MCTS El Bocal received 5 of the 54 requests for access processed. Both the second and third placed received only four. These applications are the ones that allow the researchers to carry out tests on account of the project they want to develop.

Two universities, one in Sweden and the other in the United Kingdom, a painting company in the United States and two other European companies are behind the applications for free access to the Cantabrian infrastructure. All of them have presented proposals for the development of marine anticorrosion paints and biofouling (adhesion of marine microorganisms).

Once the requests have been resolved by the network managers, those selected will have six months to access the laboratory. In particular, they may do so from 20 April to 30 October. In the previous call, the Cantabrian installation, developed by CTC in collaboration with the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, was the second most sought-after in the continent, only surpassed by the Deep Ocean Basin of the Irish University of Cork.

The MCTS El Bocal has been well received by companies and research centres developing systems and components for the marine renewable energy sector, including wind, wave and tidal energy technologies. Of the 56 facilities available, only 28 received applications for access during the second call.

MaRINET2 is a €10.5 million project linked to the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme coordinated by the Marine Energy and Renewable Energy Centre of Ireland (MaREI) at the University of Cork in Ireland.

This is a European initiative, involving 39 partners from 13 different countries, which aims to provide researchers with access to relevant testing infrastructures at a continental level, with the aim of fostering the development of marine renewables in Europe. Thus, applicants can choose from a range of facilities to test devices at any scale, in areas such as wave power, tidal power and offshore wind power, or to carry out general tests on power systems and network integration, among others. The third call of the network will open on 1 November this year.

General Assembly and Users Workshop

The CTC Technology Centre heard the news during the General Assembly of the MaRINET2 project. In addition to the data from the second call, CTC researchers travelling to Lisbon participated in the meetings of several work packages. In particular, they attended the meetings related to the Testing Standards, Transnational Access and Infrastructure packages. They also attended the meetings presenting the general lines of the future of MaRINET2.

The meeting is reserved solely for leading research organisations in the development of ocean energy. Therefore, although there are no companies, this is an excellent forum for exploring possible synergies or collaborations with other European centres.

Also, on Friday, 20 April, representatives of CTC participated in the First Workshop of Users of MaRINET2. At this workshop, network users presented some of their research experience on these test infrastructures. Thus, in addition to the support provided by the European Union for the development of this research, it promotes transnational collaborative work and fosters the development of technology on which to base the growth of marine renewable energies in Europe.