EU Blue Champions: Marine energy companies secure support for growth

Three companies active in the marine energy sector – France’s Hydroquest, Spain’s EnerOcean, and Germany’s SCHOTTEL Marine Technologies, have won support to grow their businesses through the EU Blue Champions scheme set up by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Source: European Comission, Oceans and fisheries

Hydroquest, EnerOcean, and SCHOTTEL Marine Technologies are among the 20 selected EU Blue Champions that will receive advisory support from the European Investment Bank Advisory Services and the EIB Projects Directorate for Innovation and Competitiveness. Some may also qualify for EIB venture debt, a loan for early-stage, high-growth companies.

Over two dozen sector experts and loan officers evaluated all applications, assessing alignment with the EU Mission “Restore our Ocean and Waters,” profitability potential, adherence to quality standards, and whether the projects were mature enough and displayed the type of technology required.

Selected companies align with the EU Mission on ocean and waters by aiming to restore marine and freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity, prevent and eliminate pollution, or decarbonize the blue economy.

In response to a 2023 open call for proposals, 70 projects from the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) applied for the new Blue Champions scheme, of which 20 were selected.

Launched in September 2023 as a pilot, the EU Blue Champions scheme involves the European Commission under the EU Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters and BlueInvest. It is carried out by the EIB (EIB Advisory Hub and EIB Project Directorate Department).

The EIB group provides financial and technical expertise through its advisory services to project promoters and local authorities. This aims to enhance project preparation, implementation, and the efficient utilization of EU funds.

The winners

Hydroquest and Qair secured the Blue Champion status for the FloWatt project, which is a 17 MW tidal pilot farm, located at the Raz Blanchard, Cotentin, in Normandy. This project aims to install seven latest-generation HQ 2.5 tidal turbines. The HQ 2.5 tidal turbines were developed in partnership with French industrial, scientific, and academic partners. 

In July 2023, the government of France committed to provide at least €65 million of funding and dedicated revenue support for the pioneering tidal energy farm FloWatt, to support the commercialization of the tidal energy industry.

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Schottel Marine Technologies is headquartered in Spay, Germany, with an office in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, and develops and manufactures marine technologies. The company’s focus is on providing sustainable solutions that support the energy transition.

“We are very proud to have been named an ‘EU Blue Champion’ by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank. It is another huge step towards fulfilling our mission to accelerate the energy transition by deploying the world’s greenest anchoring solutions for the global offshore energy industry,” said Ralf Starzmann, Commercial Director at SCHOTTEL Marine Technologies.

EnerOcean was founded in 2007 in Málaga, Spain. Currently, the company operates from offices in Málaga, located in the South of Spain, and Las Palmas, situated in the Canary Islands. It holds the credit of being the oldest Spanish company focused on marine energy engineering.

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