UMaine Composites Center Awarded $351,092 by MTI to Enhance W2 facility, Increase Testing Capabilities for Maine-based Technology

MTI logoThe UMaine Composites Center has been awarded $351,092 by the Maine Technology Institute through the Maine Technology Asset Fund to add two additional pieces of equipment to the W2 Wind-Wave Basin, currently under construction.

The equipment, an automated tow carriage and a floating floor to create variable water depths, will enhance model testing capabilities of Maine-based technologies in the boat building, aquaculture and offshore energy sectors. With the addition of these equipment, water depths for model testing can vary from 0 to 15 ft, and the tow carriage will attain speeds of 16 ft/s. This will allow model testing of full-scale vessels ranging from 30 ft planning craft up to 1,300 ft long tankers.

W2 is a deep multi-paddle wave basin with an integrated, rotatable open-jet wind tunnel that will permit simultaneous application of scaled wind and wave environments for sophisticated floating body model tests. W2 will be the only one of its kind in the world, equipped with a rotating open-jet wind tunnel over a wave basin, capable of testing ocean energy devices, ship structures, oil and gas structures, as well as the effects of coastal erosion and sea level rise. To learn more about W2, click here.

From Maine Technology Institute:

The Maine Technology Asset Fund was first approved by the Maine Legislature and the state’s voters in 2007 and capitalized with $50 million in bond funding focused on increasing research and development (R&D) facilities and resources in our state’s seven targeted technology sectors. These monies were mostly expended in funding rounds in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The Legislature and voters approved an additional MTAF funding bill in the amount of $3 million in 2009. Those funds, including approximately $900,000 not awarded from earlier rounds and augmented by another $921,871 in MTI funding is the source of funds awarded in this 4th MTAF round.

All applications were subjected to a two-phase review process undertaken with the assistance of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) as outlined in the (RFA). Each application was evaluated and scored on its economic impact, and technical and team merit by a minimum of three peer reviewers during the first written review stage, which informed the subsequent interview panels held April 7th and 8th. The interview panel developed a final ranking of project requests for the MTI Board of Directors based on all five criteria published in the MTAF RFA. Only the eight top-ranked proposals were able to be funded with the monies available.

Martha Bentley, MTAF Program Manager said, “This MTI-administered bond program is highly competitive and applications are very carefully and thoroughly vetted. All 8 projects awarded funding in this round have strong economic and scientific value to the State of Maine and will generate significant benefits to our state.”

View the full MTI press release, here.