Five Portuguese institutions created the OceanACT, a consortium that aims to promote the testing of innovative ocean technologies in Portugal.
he main objective of this Consortium is to create the OceanACT-Atlantic Lab for Future Technologies, a development, test, demonstration, and qualification centre for technologically innovative services and products within the framework of the Blue Economy, which will be responsible for managing and boosting the offshore demonstration infrastructures available in the country.
Behind the initiative are the following institutions: CEiiA, +ATLANTIC CoLAB, Fórum Oceano, INESC TEC, and WavEC.
The creation of the OceanACT Consortium reinforces the commitment of the five founding institutions to turn Portugal into a reference point for testing ocean technologies, a fundamental and decisive step in the development of scientific research infrastructures and the optimization of their performance.
What is more, the initiative will allow the Aguçadoura test site and the Viana do Castelo pilot zone to be articulated to other infrastructures for testing marine robotics, telecommunications, and detection technologies for monitoring and operation activities in the ocean environment.
António Sarmento, President of WavEC and Chief of the OceanACT Consortium, highlights:
The Consortium will thus foster the operationalisation and updating of existing test infrastructures, leveraging the attraction of demonstration projects in these facilities, the offer of associated services, and the articulation of access mechanisms to the infrastructures with the competent administrations.
Through the development of areas such as marine renewable energies and ocean observation, the Blue Economy represents more and more a relevant role in the dynamization of the Portuguese economy.
However, there is still a great potential for the development and demonstration of ocean technologies, not only for energy production, but also for offshore aquaculture and support systems like autonomous underwater robotic systems for inspection, operation, or maintenance.
Currently, processes of administrative nature are underway, and the Consortium’s goal is to establish the OceanACT legal entity in 2022, and for the development and testing centre to start its activities in 2023.