The DTOceanPlus project will develop and demonstrate an open-source integrated suite of 2nd generation design tools for ocean energy technologies. The tools will support the entire technology innovation and advancement process from concept, through development, to deployment, and will be applicable at a range of levels: sub-system, device, and array.
As one of the first tasks in the project, researchers at The University of Edinburgh conducted a consultation exercise, with the support of DTOceanPlus partners. This consultation addressed potential users and other key stakeholders for the DTOceanPlus tools, to identify and clarify their needs and requirements. A webinar was held initially, to introduce both the DTOceanPlus tools and the consultation. In addition to an online questionnaire, a series of individual interviews were held to obtain more nuanced input from key stakeholders.
Opinions from over 70 industry professionals from a wide range of backgrounds were collated and analysed as part of the consultation. This includes representation of the four stakeholder categories identified:
- Public funders, commercial investors, and insurance providers,
- nnovators and developers,
- Project developers, utilities, and supply chain, and
- Policy makers, regulators, and standardisation bodies.
Of the overall software characteristics considered, usability followed by flexibility & expandability then modularity were seen as most important. The proposed tools will need to deal with varying degrees of complexity, both at different stages in the project lifecycle and also for different user requirements. Several responses stressed the importance of linkages between the tools, and with external software. Nearly all respondents (>85%) indicated that they were likely or very likely to use DTOceanPlus at some stage in the project lifecycle
The results from the consultation exercise are presented in the report “D2.1 Results of user-groups consultation”. These findings will be directly used to inform functional requirements for the development of the DTOceanPlus tools and software, a task which is currently ongoing. In addition, feedback from the consultation will also be used to shape promotion and dissemination of the project.