OWEP Goes Online (Norway)
This month Norwegian wave energy developer, Intentium AS launches open wave energy project – owep. This is meant to be a hub where developers, decision makers, suppliers and students, can publish their own project or request for involvement.
This will typically be a project for a complete ocean energy system, a sub-system, a scientific theory project, an energy production facility or a students thesis. It is strongly inspired by the open source software movement, although some adjustments must be made along the way, as ocean energy requires hard value investments.
Founded in 2007, planned a few years ahead, Intentium has gone through most of the normal phases renewable start-up companies do. Located in Norway with a long maritime tradition and a long and energy-rich coast, along with education and experience from various industries, the traditional strategy of bringing in venture capital seemed the right path, at least in the beginning. As development went by, this course proved more and more difficult from both sides of the table. The entrepreneur realizes the chance of not being marginalized in very short time disappears, whereas the venture capitalist finds no way of fitting wave energy into his scalable economic model – as he uses for software and healthcare.
After a long thoroughly thought, the company have therefor decided to go ‘open’. This is strongly inspired by the open source software movement, although adjustments must be made along the way, as ocean energy does require hard value investments. The basic idea, is to increase the activity around iowep – assuming this will generate various support activities for Intentium as well. The idea is also to make it easier for other companies, organisations, researchers and students to involve themselves in this concept and in wave energy in general. The instrument for doing this, will be this new web-portal; open wave energy project – owep. One could say that owep is the bread&butter, while iowep is the vision. The legal understanding of going open, could be summarized as:
” Intentium will publish all results and most of the technology from iowep. Use it freely for any purpose educational, commercial or other. The only thing we require, is that you acknowledge that we have the original design to iowep and its main solutions, and when you reach the stage that you connect to power grid an iowep-unit, or a unit that intervene with our original patent, we request a moderate fee.”
Along the way, one could imagine co-development, where the origin company supplies technical support and key-sub-system delivery. It is encouraged to discuss this and other ocean energy subjects on the forum in owep.
Offshore WIND staff, December 19, 2011; Image: owep