National Funding Programmes

National Infrastructure Access Programme (NIAP)

The call for applications under the Marine Institute SmartBay National Infrastructure Access Programme (NIAP) is now open. The SmartBay NIAP fund will be made available through the Marine Institute to enable both Academia and Industry and other relevant organisations to access the SmartBay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site. Applications are invited for projects that require funding to access the facility or it's data feeds to carry out scientific research and/or technology development requiring the test, demonstration and validation of novel sensors, equipment, materials, coatings and data products within the marine environment. The fund is expected to be 150,000 Euro in total and we expect to fund 5 to 8 awards to research teams through a national competitive process, which is open to both academia and industry throughout the Island of Ireland requiring access to the test site and it's data feeds. The Marine Institute SmartBay NIAP aims to promote synergies between companies and academia in their research and development efforts within the marine sector, by facilitating access to the test site and its associated facilities and supports.

Further details on the call are available in the Guidelines for Applicants. Applications must be made through the Marine Institute's online research grant management system (RIMS). Details on how to register on the system are available in the Guidelines for Applicants. The Application and Budget forms are available to download from the grant management system. Please note that you must contact the SmartBay team before submitting your proposal. Interested applicants should contact Rogério Chumbinho to discuss their proposed project. This initial contact will allow the SmartBay team to confirm the technical feasibility of a particular project and will assess the financial feasibility of the project and provide guidance on how to cost the project and before a proposal is submitted. For further information on the application process and the online Grant Management System please contact

Closing date for the call is 16:00 on Thursday 7th February 2019.


National Funding Programmes

The main focus of the Prototype Development Fund programme is to stimulate the development and deployment of Ocean Energy (OE) devices and systems. As such, the emphasis is on industry-led projects for the following types of activities:

Industry-led projects to develop and test wave and tidal energy capture devices and systems;

Independent monitoring of projects and technologies

Industry-led research and development (R&D) aimed at the integration of ocean energy into the electricity market and the national electricity grid (and network);

Data monitoring, forecasting, communications and control of OE systems;

Specific industry-led research projects which will be carried out by research centres, third level institutions and centres of excellence with a high level of expertise in the relevant area

Full details are availible here:

European Funding Programmes

MaRINET2 is a €10.5 million project which includes 39 organisations representing some of the top offshore renewable energy testing facilities in Europe and globally. The project depends on strong international ties across Europe and draws on the expertise and participation of 13 countries.

MARINET2 expands on the success of its predecessor with an even greater number and variety of testing facilities across offshore wind, wave, tidal current, electrical and environmental/cross-cutting sectors. The project not only aims to provide greater access to testing infrastructures across Europe, but also is driven to improve the quality of testing internationally through standardisation of testing and staff exchange programmes.

The MaRINET2 project will run in parallel to the MaREI, UCC coordinated EU H2020 MARINERG-i project which aims to develop a business plan to put this international network of infrastructures on the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) roadmap.

European Funding Programmes

The primary objective of this activity is to provide coordinated ‘free of charge’ trans-national access to researchers or research teams from academy and industry to original coastal infrastructures operated by the JERICO NEXT consortium. This access opportunity is expected to help building long-term collaborations between users and JERICO-NEXT partners, and to promote innovation and transfer of know-how in the coastal marine sector.

JERICO NEXT will organize three Calls for Transnational Access (TNA) to a chosen number of its infrastructures/installations. Approved user groups will receive local assistance by the operators of the infrastructures they use.

The Third and last call for access to the JERICO-NEXT Coastal Observatories and Supporting Facilities is planned in January 2018.

Further details can be found at the JERICO-NEXT website.

European Funding Programmes

The FORESEA (Funding Ocean Renewable Energy through Strategic European Action) project aims to help bring ocean energy technologies to market by providing access to North-West Europe’s world-leading network of test centres.

Through the project, the performance of innovative ocean renewable energy technologies will be demonstrated in real sea conditions, helping to leverage the investment needed to take these new products to market.

Access to test sites will be provided through a programme of competitive calls, run by the project’s consortium.

The programme covers the following test centres:

European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC): Orkney Islands, UK

SmartBay: Galway, Ireland

SEM-REV: Nantes, France

Tidal Testing Centre: Den Oever, Netherlands

The test centres are supported by European industry group Ocean Energy Europe, based in Brussels.

European technologies are the clear global leader in ocean energy. To translate this leadership into a new industrial sector, it is essential that a critical mass of technologies receive enough private investment to take them to the marketplace.

The cost of pre-commercial testing and demonstration for ocean energy is high and investors are reluctant to invest until the technology has been proven in the sea at scale. The result is that precisely at the point when risks are highest and capital requirements most intensive – (e.g. open ocean testing and demonstration) – technology developers hit a funding brick wall.

The FORESEA programme will encourage longer term testing and technology de-risking, thereby leveraging further investment and enabling progression towards the marketplace.