The Maritime Research Institute Netherlands will again open its facilities to five SMEs in 2020 to test a new maritime concept

In 2020, the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands will again open its facilities to five SMEs to test a new maritime concept, see if it works and demonstrate it.

MARIN’s annual free tank test program began in 2013. It is an important leg-up for midsized companies to develop their innovation. Registration for the 2020 program closes on December 31.

With this initiative, MARIN aims to stimulate innovation in the Dutch maritime sector and lower the threshold to test new ideas and concepts. The free tank test program is not for optimising existing designs.

It is open to Dutch SMEs “but if there’s a foreign candidate with a really innovative project we may consider that candidacy,” says Enrico della Valentino, leader of Marin’s Yacht Team.

The 2020 participants get two weeks of tank time that includes access to a MARIN experimenter, project engineer and project manager. MARIN values its free tank test program at €40,000 per participant. Clients can bring their own models and perform and analyze tests themselves. Experience shows participants typically spend €20,000-30,000 in addition to the free basin time.

MARIN can assist in model making, instrumentation, analysis and reporting at regular rates. It guarantees confidentiality. Knowledge gained becomes the property of participating SMEs.

MARIN is the world’s largest independent maritime testing institute. It works for shipowners, shipyards, superyacht makers and energy companies. The SMEs taking part in its free tank testing program cannot have more than 250 employees, have a maximum annual turnover of €50m or a maximum annual balance sheet of €43m.

The free tank test program has helped remarkable products onto the market. They include the energy-saving Hull Vane (fixed foil below the stern), Galatea fin propulsion (up-and-down propulsion used by agile species like seahorses) and the Ocean Cleanup project of floating barriers that trap plastic going around in ocean gyres.