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WEAMEC – Research, training and innovation – MRE in the Pays de la Loire Region

Launch of the West Atlantic Marine Energy Center: a collective regional strategy of the Marine Renewable Energies (MRE) sector to take the lead internationally by 2020.
Background to the creation of WeAMEC
Following a process of extensive collective deliberations undertaken on the initiative of the Pays de la Loire Region with a view to structuring and boosting the MRE sector in the region, protecting its jobs and increasing its visibility, a joint strategy was defined by the stakeholders in research, training and innovation. This led directly to the official launch of the West Atlantic Marine Energy Center on 19th May 2015 in Nantes on the sidelines of the National Conference of the Syndicat des Énergies Renouvelables (SER).

Christophe CLERGEAU, Vice-President of the Pays de la Loire Region, Arnaud POITOU, Director of Centrale Nantes, Olivier LABOUX, President of the University of Nantes and Laurent MANACH, Director of the Pôle EMC2, as well as representatives from Alstom and STX, were present to sign the partnership agreement.

A collective approach with ambitious objectives
The overarching goal is to better structure the services on offer and make them more attractive on a regional and international scale. To this end, the strategy is built on industrial needs and sets out objectives for the medium term:
  • adopt the position of market leader on fixed wind turbines, in particular in extreme conditions, and speed up the transition from fixed to floating structures. 
  • Take the lead on newer MRE technologies, such as tidal energy, ocean thermal energy and tidal power.
Centrale Nantes, the University of Nantes, the Pôle EMC2, and IRT Jules Verne are taking the lead here, with the support of the Pays de la Loire Region and the European Regional Development Fund. Nantes Métropole et la Carène are also involved.

Modus operandi
A road map (2015-2020) defines the procedures, means and actions to put in place as well as the remit of each of the stakeholders (higher education institutions, research organizations, local authorities, economic and industrial players, clusters etc.)

WeAMEC can therefore position itself across the full MRE cycle, from preliminary study to operations management and farm operation, with three clear priorities:

  • Offshore fixed turbines, particularly in the extreme/difficult conditions (hard ground, heavy swell) of the Atlantic coast.
  • Speed up the transition towards floating turbine structures in order to improve the potential in terms of quantity of available production and quality of yield and to limit usage conflict.
  • Contribute to the development of specific components for newer technologies such as tidal energy (particularly foundations), wave power and ocean thermal energy.

Research and innovation
A first call for projects was opened in early 2016 to co-finance PhD and post-doctoral students supervised in regional laboratories or industrial chairs in the MRE field. WeAMEC is also playing an active role in innovation and relies on three partners:  EMC2 (founding partner), PMBA and S2E2, whose respective expertise in innovative production methods, ocean engineering and electrical engineering combine perfectly to cover the entire value chain.

Over 40 research and innovation projects are currently underway amongst WeAMEC partners.

Further information on

mise à jour le November 9, 2016

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Philippe BACLET - WeAMEC Director


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