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European Industrial DoCtorate on Offshore WiNd and Wave ENergy

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ICONN (European Industrial DoCtorate on Offshore WiNd and Wave ENergy)

Reporting period: 2017-10-01 to 2019-09-30

ICONN is a unique European Industrial Doctorate initiative to meet the current and future demand for highly skilled offshore wind and wave energy engineers by developing and advancing European capacity in the design, development and performance optimisation for Offshore Wind and Wave Energy installations. The initiative is strongly shaped by active participation from industries, and has markedly enhanced European capacity in offshore renewable energy at a critical juncture in
time when Europe strives to occupy a lead market position globally in this sector.

The three scientific work packages, which scaffold the individual research activities, progress from addressing specific challenges and capability deficiencies that impede the effective and efficient deployment of offshore wind and wave infrastructures (floating systems and optimisation of power take-off (PTO) ) through to activities that seek to create, and innovate in, new control algorithms and in operational efficiency domain (fatigue control, new algorithms for control of PTO).
The delivered training and skillset development contributes strongly to EC strategic research, training and innovation strategies as established through the Europe 2020 strategy, Blue Energy, and in EC Innovation Union goals.

New and highly original innovations and advances in scientific knowledge have been realised, disseminated and licensed from within the ICONN project activities, and have helped the industry participants significantly advance their technological and commercial platforms, and enhanced their future viability and potential.

Three ESR's have been extensively and comprehensively trained in, and exposed to, cutting edge academic and industrial research, innovation, practices, facilities, deployments and collaborative networks. Lasting training networks and collaborations have been formed.

The ICONN EID has proven to be a very valuable, highly impactful, career enhancing activity for all the ESRs, beneficiaries, partners, participants and ICONN project associates.
The ICONN project very strongly fulfilled its remit, with all the recruited ESRs making convincing advances in their research domains. Three innovations were identified and progressed towards commercialisation via an Innovation Booster activity. On the ICONN end date, eight papers had been published with a further four journal works prepared; one PhD thesis had been submitted with the remaining two PhD theses due to be submitted in late 2019 and Spring 2020. Two of the Researchers secured permanent employment in the sector at project end date. The third researcher is committed to completing his PhD research before taking up employment.

In terms of structured training and dissemination activities, the team in Trinity College Dublin (TCD) organised three international ICONN workshops (1st International Workshop on Non-linear Hydrodynamics, Stochastic Dynamics and Control of Offshore Structures; a Symposium on Non-linear Hydrodynamics and Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics, and an international workshop on Wind Farm Aerodynamics and Control). TCD also organised the very successful ICONN/Greener International Conference on Floating Offshore Energy devices, and are editing and producing an open-access Journal containing extended proceedings from the event. The TCD ESR has four further works prepared, with publication of these expected upon completion of ongoing commercialisation related licensing activities for the new technologies involved.

Floating Power Plant’s (FPP) device is a floating foundation for a wind turbine with wave energy convertors (WECs) integrated into the floating foundation. A large proportion of the risk seen by FPP’s potential clients and investors is due to the inclusion of the WECs, as this is new and unique technology. FPP’s Researcher has guided FPP to understanding the complexities of the integration of WECs, and towards determining the most appropriate numerical model for modelling the WECs without loss of accuracy. FPP organised a valuable summer school on aeroelastic modelling and mooring systems. The FPP ESR has produced three publications in the period, and FPP have been active in promoting the ICONN project at trade and industry events and to an within industry steering and working groups.

The Aalborg University ESR has been productive and prolific throughout the ICONN project, producing four published Journal papers in the period. The AAU team have worked on vibration control of wave energy point absorbers for optimal power take-off, and contributed valuable scientific knowledge to project partner, Swirl Generators. AAU organised the first ICONN summer school, and complementary training, and also organised the ICONN associated EWTEC training workshop.
"The wave energy and offshore wind energy industries are at a critical juncture where future growth will be critically influenced by some key and fundamental scientific and technological developments. These developmental requirements form the basis for the ICONN project, and the research work, outputs and innovations created in the ICONN EID.

The ICONN project proposed, and delivered, innovative outputs and highly original concepts in the R&D programme. These represent one expression of progress beyond the state of the art. The EC Innovation Radar ICONN meeting documented three clear innovations as ""very innovative satisfying a well known market need"" where the market size for the innovation is valued at "">500M Euro"".

A considerable number of advances on the State of the Art were realised during the ICONN project. These are predominantly captured in the eight extant open-access publications from the Consortium, and in four further works that will be published by TCD pursuant to the conclusion of commercialisation activities. At project end, the team in TCD were progressing the commercialisation of two of their ICONN innovations. These innovations have been identified by the Industry partners as significant and valuable to the commercial potential and viability of their activities.

Floating Power Plant (an ICONN beneficiary), and Swirl Generators( an ICONN partner) commented on the impact of the ICONN EID on their activities:

Floating Power Plant
""Participation in ICONN has enabled FPP to enter a new stage of development in which the fully coupled model (including WECs, a wind turbine, a semisubmersible and a mooring system) developed within ICONN is validated against an extensive scaled test campaign. The model will be used to optimise FPP’s commercial device, taking FPP into the final design phase of its first commercial device. The publication of peer-reviewed papers within the ICONN project has also enabled FPP to meet with new investors and clients, as this is viewed as a form of external due diligence; hence ICONN has accelerated FPP towards commercialisation.""

Swirl Generators
Swirl Generators Limited (SGL) is an SME engaged in the development of an ocean wave energy converter intended for utility scale deployment. The focus is on developing a commercially licensable product, and on managing limited resources to best effect in these pre-revenue stages. Swirl Generators Ltd (SGL) hosted the industry placement periods of two ESRs, those from TCD and AAU. SWIRL reported that the ESR's work provided very valuable input to improvements to the PTO, control and power optimization of the device."
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