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Paper awarded prize by Finisterra journal

The paper "Sectoral and territorial effects of experimentation at early stages of energy innovations: Lessons from 20 years of marine renewable technologies in Portugal" co-authored by Margarida Fontes, Mariana Aguiar e Nuno Bento and presenting results of the research conducted by OceanTrans project, was awarded an Honourable Mention in the Finisterra 2022 Best Article Award. The award session took place on 19th October 2023, at IGOT-University of Lisbon.

ABSTRACT – Addressing climate urgency and unpredicted crisis, such as pandemics and wars, requires the acceleration of the sustainable transition and, particularly, the development and implementation of new renewable energy technologies. This acceleration depends on the capacity for mobilizing resources and skills present in the territory. In particular, the transition to a commercial phase poses important challenges that may be met drawing on the capacities developed in the initial experimentation phase, whose effects remain poorly studied. Portugal has a long experience in the development of marine renewable energy technologies – wave energy and floating offshore wind energy. It is relevant to understand, through a longitudinal analysis, supported on a database of actors involved with the technology, to investigate whether the activities carried out during the initial phase of development permitted to start mobilizing the national industry, and to what extent this mobilization generated sectoral and regional centers of activity that can support future developments. The analysis shows that test and demonstration projects have a role in the mobilization of firms from relevant sectors, even if their ability to attract local companies is still limited. The activities are based on networks of companies distributed throughout the territory, with a predominance of the main metropolitan areas. These results can inform strategies to accelerate technology diffusion and increase the potential for industrial transformation.

Keywords: Geography of transitions; technological innovation systems; sectoral complementarities; industrial transformation; marine renewable energy


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