Annual Report 2018

Interview with ICOE - 2018


The International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE) is a prestigious international event focused on the industrial development of ocean energy. OES has close link with ICOE.


Amandine Volard is the chair of ICOE 2018. She is an environmental engineer, specialized in renewable energies, working now for the French energy agency ADEME and before at the West Normandy Marine Energy that had applied jointly with BlueSign in 2016, to host ICOE in Cherbourg in June 2018.


Held every two years since 2006, ICOE gathers over 500 international stakeholders, experts and exhibitors from the ocean energy sector to discuss device innovation, new market developments and regulatory frameworks to spur commercialization. In addition to unparalleled opportunities to network and learn from industry leaders from around the world, the event provides a variety of forums for attendees to share advancements in research and technology breakthroughs. The purpose of the event is to accelerate development by stimulating collaboration between companies, researchers and development centres. It also targets engagement of operators with experience in related marine and power industry sectors.

OES is the guardian of the ICOE conference and leads a competitive process to select host country teams. Since 2014, the OES has been sponsoring a monetary prize for the three best posters presented at ICOE. The winners of the 2018 edition were:

First prize (€1,500): Niño Jhim Andrew Dela Luna (Mapúa University)
Title of the study: Tidal Resource Assessment and Hydrodynamic Simulation of a SeaGen-type Horizontal

Second prize (€1,000): Leah Barker Ewart (IDCORE)
Title of the study: Advanced concrete materials for floating wave energy converters

Third prize (€ 500): Lisa Garnier (RTE)
Title of the study: A natural HighTech - the great scallop as a sensor captor

Organised in 2018 by the French company BlueSign in partnership with the Normandy region, ICOE was held in Cherbourg, Normandy, from June 12th to 14th in La Cité de la Mer. In 2018, the National Hydropower Association (NHA) was selected by the OES to host the next conference in 2020 in Washington, D.C. In this chapter, OES interviews the past and future chairs of ICOE.

OES: What was the main motivation of Normandy region to host ICOE 2018?

Normandy has incredible assets for the development of marine energies, and more particularly tidal energy. The Raz Blanchard is only 15NM away from the port of Chebourg, perfectly suited for the development of marine energy industrial activities. A high capacity grid has been built a couple of years ago and it has the capability to welcome more than 1GW of tidal power.

After hosting Seanergy in 2017 in Le Havre, Normandy Region decided to apply to host ICOE2018 with its local partners, the Department of la Manche, the community of Cherbourg and Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, in order to invite the whole ocean energy world to visit the local infrastructures available and to build or maintain international collaborations with businesses and research centers of Normandy.

OES: Did ICOE 2018 met your expectations?

It met our expectations indeed, as more than 3,500 visitors came to the event, over 550 BtoB meetings took place between the 12th and the 14th of June, and over 75 experts took part to the technical visits. The collaboration with the Seanergy event allowed us to broaden the participation and get a large exhibition floor, which was a big asset of the 2018 event. We also managed to include some conferences that were selected as a whole package, and designed by experts who already knew each other and the would speak on the same topic or project. This required more preparation work but brought sessions that were very clearly designed and had a focused perspective.

OES: What was the main challenge in the organization of such international event?

The coordination of the 140 speakers was definitely a big challenge! But the support from the Executive and Technical Committees were extremely helpful.

OES: How do you think ICOE can benefit the sector?
ICOE is the only international event dedicated to ocean energy. In 2018, we had a good mix of business and academic participants, which made the event even more interesting in terms of innovation and collaboration. Stakeholders of the sector definitely need to collaborate to find creative and competitive ways to design, build, install, operate and maintain ocean energy technologies, in a context where all renewable energies’ LCOE keep decreasing and are required to decrease. We believe ICOE2018 is another milestone on the road of ocean energy development, and can’t wait for ICOE2020 to see the progress and new challenges of the sector.