Scotland will award the £10-million Saltire Prize to any team that successfully demonstrates in Scottish waters the best commercially viable wave or tidal technology capable of providing electricity to thousands of homes.
The Saltire Prize will be awarded to the team that can demonstrate a commercially viable wave or tidal energy technology that achieves a minimum electrical output of 100 GWh over a continuous two year period using only the power of the sea and is judged to be the best overall technology after consideration of cost, environmental sustainability and safety.
Entries will be open from Summer 2009 and closed by June 2013.
Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond will host a reception at Edinburgh Castle for an audience of leading scientists, environmentalists and potential entrants to the competition, where the much-anticipated details of the challenge will be revealed.
The international experts on the Saltire Prize Challenge Committee met earlier today and framed the terms of the world's largest single prize for renewable marine energy development.
The international committee includes Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri highlighting the importance of collaboration between Scotland and India in the field environmental sciences.
Professor Anne Glover, chief scientific adviser for Scotland and chair of the challenge committee, will formally announce the details of the challenge.
Salmond said, "The Scottish Government's £10 million Saltire Prize is one of the biggest international innovation prizes in history. It is Scotland's energy challenge to the world - a challenge to the brightest and best minds worldwide to unleash their talents and push the frontiers of innovation in green marine energy.
"The Saltire Prize has the potential to unlock Scotland's vast marine energy wealth, putting our nation at the very forefront of the battle against climate change, to make a lasting and decisive difference to our planet.
"The Saltire Prize Challenge Committee has tasked the world's leading scientists and innovators to design, build and test a renewable marine energy device, in Scottish waters, which is capable of powering thousands upon thousands of households. Scotland has one quarter of Europe's tidal power potential; the Pentland Firth is our Saudi Arabia of renewable marine energy.
"The prize-winning solution will herald a historical breakthrough in renewable development and strengthen Scotland's place in the world as a leader in clean, green energy.
"The reward for Scotland is to maximise our natural resources and competitive advantage in renewable energy, lead the fight against climate change and reap the full economic benefits that come with the position of a world-leader in renewable energy.
"I would like to thank all the Challenge Committee and the Technical Advisory Board for their work and I wish all the possible entrants the very best of luck."
Professor Glover said, "Scotland has an outstanding history in science, engineering and technology and continues to excel. It is natural that we set an inspirational challenge to the world. The Saltire Prize challenge aims to accelerate the rate at which wave and tidal technologies can deliver power output that will represent real commercial opportunity. And make a meaningful contribution to Scotland's ambitious renewable energy and carbon emissions targets."
Members of the Saltire Prize challenge committee are:
- Professor Anne Glover is Chair of the Committee and Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland;
- Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri is an economist and environmental scientist who has served as the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 2002;
- Dr Bernard J Bulkin is a world leader in energy technology and education, and a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Energy Institute;
- Nicholas Moore Eisenberger is an environmental entrepreneur and business strategist who serves on the X-Prize Foundation Energy and Environment Advisory Board;
- Terry D. Garcia is Executive Vice President for mission programs for the NationalGeographic Society;
- Richard Hemsley is Chief Operating Officer, Group Manufacturing Division at the Royal Bank of Scotland;
- Professor Paul Jowitt is Vice President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh;
- Jaison Morgan is senior director of Prize Development with the X Prize Foundation;
- Jonathan Porritt CBE is Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission and co founder of Forum for the Future;
- Professor Lu Yongxiang is Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China and President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
- David Wilson is Director of Enterprise, Energy and Tourism within the Scottish Government.
A Technical Advisory Board has also been established. Membership includes:
Professor Jim McDonald (chair), professor Johannes Falnes, professor Stephen Salter, professor Anne Glover, professor António Sarmento, Dr Stephen Wyatt, Richard Knight and Dr Alison Wall.