Grant to Speed Wave Energy Technology

Oregon BEST and OWET Announce Joint Commercialization Grant to M3 Wave, LLC

Funds will speed commercialization of unique submerged wave energy converter

The Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) and Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET) today announced a joint technology commercialization grant to M3 Wave, LLC to accelerate commercialization of the company’s submerged wave energy technology and to position the company for future scale-up funding from the U.S. Dept. of Energy and private investors. 

M3 Wave, LLC is a Salem, Oregon-based startup working to commercialize a proprietary wave energy conversion technology developed at Oregon State University. The company’s patent-pending technology sits out of sight on the ocean floor at depths between 50 to 100 feet, generating power by tapping the variation in water pressure from waves to inflate and deflate airbags that turn a turbine. In addition to having zero impact on viewshed, the device has fewer conflicts with other ocean users and marine life, and fabrication and deployment utilizes existing coastal infrastructure.

“By collaborating with OWET, Oregon BEST is able to target our commercialization grant funds to help this local company advance a unique technology that will ultimately create jobs, provide clean energy and establish another Oregon company as a renewable energy innovator,” said David Kenney, President and Executive Director of Oregon BEST. “Our Commercialization Program offers grants and business support to Oregon cleantech companies like M3 Wave that are collaborating with university researchers to bring clean technologies to the marketplace.”

The Oregon Wave Energy Commercialization (OWEC) Program accelerates the commercialization of ocean energy technologies developed by businesses that perform their work in Oregon. The program focuses on advancing a company’s Technology Readiness Level (TRL) based on U.S. Dept. of Energy guidelines and creating partnerships between industry and Oregon’s supply chain. The commercialization collaborations catalyzed by OWET stimulate Oregon’s economy and advance technology toward commercial viability and deployment.

“OWET is pleased to partner with Oregon BEST to advance a company like M3 toward commercial viability,” said Jason Busch, Executive Director of OWET. “This is the kind of investment in Oregon's future that is intended to bring new economic opportunities to Oregon and its coastal communities, and to help us all move toward an energy future that is good for the economy, people and the planet.”

In the past year, using funds from OWET and the U.S. Dept. of Energy, M3Wave has made great strides advancing its technology through the completion of TRL 3 and into TRL 4.

The new $150,000 Oregon BEST-OWET grant will allow M3 Wave to complete the remaining criteria for TRL 4, including plans for pilot fabrication and manufacturing, as well as developing critical environmental assessment plans and regulatory frameworks. Completion of these tasks will engage local industry partners and academic institutions and expand the industrial base in support of the responsible development of Oregon’s ocean energy industry.

About M3 Wave, LLC 
M3Wave, LLC is a wave energy startup company based in Salem, Oregon. Founded by “three guys named Mike,” M3 is focused on commercializing a unique stationary, submerged wave energy conversion technology, called DMP, which was first invented by Mike Morrow and Mike Delos-Reyes at Oregon State University in 1991. DMP sits on the ocean floor safely away from storms, ships, and ocean views. The technology has advanced rapidly thanks to commercialization grants from Oregon Wave Energy Trust and the U.S. Dept. of Energy, as well as private funding.

About Oregon BEST
The Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) is the nexus for clean technology innovation and is building capability, convening collaborations, and accelerating solutions to environmental challenges that deliver prosperity in all corners of Oregon. Oregon BEST brings together Oregon’s significant R&D strengths in clean technology to support the commercialization of new products and services. Since establishment in 2007, Oregon BEST’s 210-plus Member Faculty have brought more than $60 million in research revenue from federal, industry and foundation sources to Oregon. At its four partner universities (Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Portland State University, and University of Oregon), Oregon BEST has established a network of seven shared-user research facilities. 
Oregon BEST Commercialization Grants are awarded to collaborations between entrepreneurs and Oregon BEST member faculty at partner universities. The first four Commercialization Grant awardees from 2011 have secured more than $1.5 million in follow-on funding, more than six times the total grant amount awarded.

About OWET
Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET) – with members from fishing and environmental groups, industry and government – is a nonprofit public-private partnership funded by the Oregon Innovation Council since 2007. Its mission is to promote the responsible development of ocean energy in Oregon. We serve as a connector for all stakeholders involved in wave energy project development – from research and development to early stage community engagement, final deployment and energy generation and job creation – positioning Oregon as the North America leader in this nascent industry and delivering its full economic and environmental potential for the state. OWET’s goal is power two Oregon communities with ocean energy by 2025.

Media Contacts: Gregg Kleiner, Oregon BEST, 541-740-9654; Mike Morrow, M3 Wave, LLC, 541-602-4160; Cate Millar, Oregon Wave Energy Trust, 503-781-9966
Sources: David Kenney, Exec. Dir., Oregon BEST, 503-725-9849; Jason Busch, Exec. Dir., Oregon Wave Energy Trust, 503.729.2253