Portugal – One of four Portuguese institutions involved in a joint effort to promote the testing of innovative ocean technologies in Portugal has decided to take a decisive step in the joint endeavor and has joined efforts to create OceanACT, a 100% Portuguese consortium.
At its core, OceanACT-Atlantic Lab for Future Technologies is a research, testing, demonstration and certification laboratory dedicated to the Blue Economy. OceanACT-Atlantic will be responsible for managing and publicizing all demonstration infrastructures in the country, as well as facilitating the development of new products and services.
To ensure that Portugal becomes a world-class testing ground for ocean technologies, the five founding institutions of the OceanACT Consortium, which was formed in July, reaffirmed their commitment to making Portugal a world-class testing ground. Furthermore, this initiative will bring together various infrastructures, such as marine robotics, telecommunication, and sensing technologies, for monitoring and operating in ocean environments with the test and pilot areas of Viana do Castelo.
For the Consortium, operationalization of existing test infrastructures, as well as the establishment of demonstration projects in these facilities, and the supply of associated services, will be encouraged.
The Blue Economy is becoming increasingly important to the Portuguese economy as a result of advances in marine renewable energy and ocean observation. However, there is still a great deal of 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 monitoring, operation, or maintenance processes.
To achieve some of the main goals of the OceanACT Consortium, a legal body will be established in 2022, and the development and testing center will begin operations in 2023.