The tidal energy industry has been boosted with a £700,000 award by Innovate UK to two marine projects, one of them involving Scotland’s centres of excellence.

The FloWave ocean energy research facility at Edinburgh University and Orkney’s European Marine Energy Centre will work with Cambridge-based Ocean Array Systems and Canadian partners in a project chosen for funding by Innovate UK and the Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia. The UK signed a memorandum of understanding with Canada’s second-smallest province last year.

The aim is to develop a new sensor system to measure the impact of turbulence on tidal devices, allowing developers to optimise design and deploy technology that can withstand the effects of strong tides and currents.

Stuart Brown, chief executive at FloWave, said: “Our test tank is uniquely capable of replicating both EMEC and the Bay of Fundy at scale, and the prospect of new instrumentation, data and analysis techniques that will help the industry better understand and address the challenge of turbulence in the tidal flow, particularly around structures and within projects, is to be welcomed.

“We very much look forward to working with our Canadian and UK partners over the next three years to help drive this industry forward on both sides of the Atlantic, and globally too."

Oliver Wragg, commercial director at EMEC, said the project was needed to “address some of the shortcomings of existing measurement technologies”. He added: “If this can be designed into the technologies earlier on, it should reduce risk in the latter stages of development and testing at EMEC.”