Introducing the Partners: VGA

The IMPACT project brings together testing facilities and cross-functional expertise in ocean energy and industrial engineering from five European partners.

We asked each of the partners to tell us more about who they are, how they got involved in IMPACT, their role in the project, and what excites them about this work.

In this post, we present VGA’s answer.

An engineering company with a wide range of specialisms

VGA is an Italian engineering company that specialises in designing, developing and manufacturing test rigs and high technology systems for a wide range of applications (energy, aerospace, defence, industrial and automotive). VGA also works as engineering consultant, performing services (systems analysis, modelling, design and testing), R&D and prototyping activities (up to small-series productions).

In the renewable energy sector, VGA is mainly active in the contexts of ocean energy (through the manufacture and operation of test rigs) and energy storage (Li-Ion and flow batteries, battery management systems).

The right chance to get further involved

VGA has a long track record in designing and developing test rigs, and has applied this knowledge within the ocean energy sector since 2018. When we were informed about the Horizon 2020 call for new test rigs for accelerating ocean energy development, we thought it was the right chance for us to get further involved in the amazing context of wave energy!

VGA started by identifying the possible technical approaches that would satisfy the key topics to be covered by the project as well as the requirements to be covered from the different figures within the consortium. Afterwards, cutting-edge European partners responding to these requirements were contacted in order to set up the IMPACT consortium.

Ensuring technical consistency and quality of results

VGA is the coordinator of the IMPACT project, in charge of managing the consortium and ensuring the technical consistency and quality of the delivered results. At the same time, we have the task of designing, commissioning and operating the test rigs, which, together with novel testing methodologies and metrics, are the key results to be delivered at the end of the project.

Moreover, VGA’s Giacomo Alessandri holds the role of Exploitation and Innovation Manager, in charge of identifying the commercial exploitation of project results and arising intellectual properties, as well as analysing the development of the wave energy market to address the IMPACT business plan.

Accelerating development and increasing confidence

Overall, the most thrilling part of IMPACT is to effectively contribute to accelerating the development of wave energy technologies, and helping with increasing the maturity of the devices already within the project. In fact, once the rigs are ready, they will be used to test more subsystems and components belonging to different device developers.

Delivering a world-class test facility dedicated to wave energy stakeholders (e.g. developers and suppliers of subsystems and components, energy utilities, certification bodies) would also enrich the European network of research infrastructures, leading to a more encouraging opportunity to increase the confidence in this untapped, not-yet exploited resource.

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