New annual marine award announced by First Minister

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First Minister Alex Salmond today announced an annual award, to be presented under the auspices of Scotland’s marine energy Saltire Prize, to recognise outstanding contributions to the development of wave and tidal power.

The Saltire Prize, which has attracted more than 150 registrations of interest from 31 countries and already two confirmed applicants, will see £10 million awarded to the team that can demonstrate, in Scottish waters, a commercially-viable wave or tidal stream energy technology that achieves the greatest volume of electrical output over the set minimum hurdle of 100GWh over a continuous two-year period using only sea power.

Today the FM announced an annual Saltire Prize Green Energy Award as well as a £1,000 competition – sponsored by industry body Scottish Renewables and open to art students across Scotland – to design the Award medal.

The inaugural Award will be presented at Scottish Renewables’ annual conference in March 2011.

Mr Salmond said:

“Scotland’s £10 million Saltire Prize is a global challenge to push back the boundaries of generating power from our seas. With two confirmed applicants and more than 150 registrations of interest from around the world, this competition is already helping accelerate the commercial development of wave and tidal energy technology.

“The annual Saltire Prize Green Energy Award Medal will recognise some of the outstanding individuals and groups who are at the forefront of this great endeavour. I’m delighted that Scottish Renewables has agreed to deliver this award and to host the inaugural presentation of the accolade at its annual conference in March.

“And given that high quality of potential recipients of the Medal, the Scottish Government and Scottish Renewables are inviting arts students from across Scotland to come up with a winning design that befits the outstanding individuals selected from among their peers – all pioneers of this exciting frontier technology.”

Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said:

“Scotland has a rich marine heritage and is well on its way to becoming a world leader in harnessing power from our seas. The creation of a new Saltire Prize medal presents an opportunity to showcase our achievements in this area.

“We are delighted to offer our up-and-coming students the opportunity to showcase their talents in the competition to design the Saltire Prize Medal which will become an internationally recognised award.”

The competition to design the Annual Saltire Prize Green Energy Award Medal is now open for entries and will close on February 1.

The winning design will be determined by a panel of judges chaired by Professor Seona Reid, Director of Glasgow School of Art.

Prof Reid said:

“A competition to design the medal for the Saltire Prize is a wonderful opportunity for Scotland’s visual arts and design students to leave their stamp on an award that does much to highlight the increasing importance of renewable energy. And with such a wealth of natural resources on our doorstep in Scotland, the students will have plenty to draw inspiration from.”

The judging panel is: (chair) Seona Reid, Director of Glasgow School of Art; Alasdair Gray, writer & artist; Professor Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland; Barclay Price, Director, Arts and Business Scotland; Caroline Parkinson, Director, Creative Scotland; Moira Jeffrey, art critic; Niall Stuart, Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables; Rachel Henderson artist and writer; Leah Black, Independent Jewellery Expert and Neil Kermode, Managing Director, European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC)