PLOCAN - An example of ocean-research infrastructures contribution to marine technology development

Octavio Llinás1, Carlos Barrera2, Andres Cianca3, Joaquín Hernández4 and Maria Jose Rueda3, (1)Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands, General Manager, Telde, Spain, (2)Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands, Underwater Vehicles, Telde, Spain, (3)Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands, Telde, Spain, (4)PLOCAN, Spain
The Consorcio para el Diseño, Construcción, Equipamiento y Explotación de la Plataforma Oceanica de Canarias (PLOCAN) is a joint initiative between the Spanish and the Canary Islands governments, with the support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), stablished in 2007. PLOCAN, as member of the Scientific and Technological Unique Infrastructure (ICTS) Spanish national roadmap, is specifically addressed and committed to support research of excellence, technology development an innovation within the marine and maritime sector, focusing (although not exclusively) on marine renewable energies and ocean observation as main technology disciplines and work involvement.

PLOCAN is a multipurpose service facility center with land-based and sea-based cutting-edge infrastructures, located in Gran Canaria (Spain). Its main mission is to promote long-term observation and sustainability of the ocean, through a cost-effective combination of services and capacities, such as integrated observatory (open-ocean and coastal nodes), marine test-site facility, base for ocean vehicles, and training and innovation hub. PLOCAN’s mission is aiming to speed up the arrival to the market of its derived results and products, favoring Blue Growth and employment, through efficient access to the ocean at increasing depths and in an environmentally sustainable way. PLOCAN is a dedicated infrastructure for experimentation as well as scientific and technological research in all aspects related to marine sciences and technologies, and in particular those such as marine renewable energies and ocean observation, whose development requires test sites facilities able to offer real operational scenarios directly located in the marine environment.

As a singular element of the PLOCAN infrastructure, highlights a fixed offshore platform facility moored over 30 meters depth in the Northeast coast of Gran Canaria, near of the edge of the continental shelf, as part of the test-site facility (23 Km2 area ranging depths up to 600 meters) and the coastal node of the integrated observatory. With a net surface of 2,500 m2 for multidisciplinary research capacity, the platform has space for laboratories, instrumented containers and capacity to accommodate permanently researchers distributed in a multi-storage building with a main dock of 1,000 m2.

Up to now, several S&T testing experiments have been successfully conducted by public and private institutions and companies at PLOCAN test site facility and some of them will be highlighted in this work.