Public Procurement and Property

Talking innovation with Wave Energy Scotland for #ScotClimateWeek

September 17, 2021 by No Comments | Category Case study, climate change, innovation, net zero, Procurement news, Sustainability

To celebrate #ScotClimateWeek, Scottish Procurement are delighted to welcome a guest blog from Wave Energy Scotland to discuss how they are utilising innovative technologies and collaborative procurement efforts to harness the power of the ocean and support Scotland’s Net Zero ambitions.

Wave Energy Scotland (WES) was established in November 2014 as a subsidiary of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), to work towards developing cost competitive wave energy technologies. WES provides public support through Scottish Government funding to encourage collaborations between the best engineering, academic and scientific expertise and know how, to advance these technologies.

Scotland has huge wave energy resources, which if captured with this kind of technology, could provide a valuable source of low carbon energy.  We can combine our engineering and innovation skills with our expertise in offshore engineering to become world leaders in wave energy technology.

Photo credit: WES - TTI’s NetBuoy™ funded through WES’s “Structural Materials and Manufacturing Processes” programme.

Photo credit: WES – TTI’s NetBuoy™ funded through WES’s “Structural Materials and Manufacturing Processes” programme.

WES uses a precommercial procurement model to drive innovation.  This is effectively a technology competition, where a number of potential suppliers enter the programme through an open tender and then carry out a phase of development.  At the end of the phase, the concepts are tested, and the best technology is taken through to the next stage for further development. This continues for 3 phases of development, until mature technology can be achieved.

The advantage of this approach to the suppliers is that they can receive up to 100% funding to develop their technology, and the public procurer can quickly identify the best technology through this competitive approach.

WES has funded 95 projects on budget over the last 5 years, with only one project not being completed.  Around 200 organisations from industry and academia have been involved from 13 countries.

The programme requires all testing to be carried out in Scotland, so overseas technology providers have been partnering with Scottish companies to deliver their technology testing and frequently setting up Scottish subsidiaries.

The programme is now coming to a conclusion this year with 2 Scottish wave technologies winning through to stage 3 and being tested in the seas off Orkney this summer.  This is a huge success for the Scottish wave energy sector and demonstrates the potential to commercialise this technology and deploy it in Scotland to contribute to our net zero future, and to export it across the globe with significant economic benefit.


Thank you to Wave Energy Scotland for giving us an insight into their work in procuring innovative wave energy technologies.

To find out more about #ScotClimateWeek and Scotland’s Net Zero ambitions, please visit Home | Net Zero Nation

For further information on Scotland’s Public Procurement Priorities please click here.

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