Annual Report 2017

Task 12 - Stage Gate Metrics International Framework for Ocean Energy

It is widely recognised that the ocean energy sector has not met expectations to date, suggesting a more rigorous technical review approach is required which employs improved evaluation methods and metrics than are currently applied in due diligence review and evaluation of ocean energy technologies.

Taking the experience and lessons learned from more than two decades of ocean energy technology and market development into account, a detailed monitoring of progress and success should have the following characteristics:

  • It is necessary to differentiate between the various needs of the development stages from R&D, Prototype, Demonstration, to Pre-Commercial and Industrial Roll-out;
  • Criteria need to be defined which are specific to each development stage;



Start date: 2017
End date: Permanent

Matthijs Soede, European Commission

All member countries

OES Website

  • A connection must be made between the performance criteria and the availability of certain types of support in the form of public and private funding;
  • The process should use continued feasibility-checks on the OE technology potential with an increasing focus on LCOE as the technology matures.

After this initial period of focussing on the technological feasibility (Can it be done? Does it work?), where the only metric used was the successful technology evolution to higher TRL levels, economics and other social acceptance criteria have been identified that need to be considered at an early development stage for ocean energy technology to be commercially successful. The current situation is characterised by an ongoing international collaboration on the development of ocean energy technology and the management of the various stage-gated technology development programmes run by funders around the world. This has led to an ongoing need to develop a process for defining appropriate and rigorous metrics for measuring success in a number of critical target areas of OE technology development. Furthermore, associated numerical success thresholds must be identified for each metric which can be applied at each stage of development as stage gate success thresholds.

The objective of this task is to build clarity, information and understanding to support the definition of a fully defined set of metrics and success thresholds. These “stage gate measurements of success” in interrelated topic areas are linked to a top-level optimisation of Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) – the key metric into which all others inevitably feed. This provides a significant international challenge since a final definition of metrics and success thresholds will, to some extent, be specific to a technology area and perhaps the type of market targeted.


The ultimate objective is to establish a common international stage gate metrics framework to be used by technology developers, investors and funders.

An internationally accepted approach provides device developers, national and international funding organisations, and the development community the following benefits:

  • The ability to measure technology development progress and success;
  • A methodology to assist in the management of competitive innovation calls that can compare the viability of competing technologies;
  • An approach for ensuring appropriate allocation of funding to the most promising technologies;
  • A set of metrics to measure technology progress to illustrate the impact of funding;
  • An internationally accepted and credible marker of success to aid in building technology confidence in investors and other stakeholders;
  • The ability to make cross technology funding comparisons to help avoid replication or repetition of funding of technologies by numerous funders with similar objectives;
  • Decision making assistance for private and public funders.