Saipem and Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) have signed a collaboration agreement which will allow the research centre to use the HEXAFLOAT concept, Saipem published patent awaiting validation of a pendulum type floating foundation for wind turbine. The field of application it will be a strategic research project for the industrial system involved in offshore renewable energies (studies on floating wind foundation and floating solar PV), financed by the fund “Ricerca di Sistema Elettrico”. The fund falls within an agreement made between CNR and MISE (Italian Minister of Economic Development) for the period 2019-2021.


In more depth, the CNR research project funded by MISE will include evaluation via development of appropriate numerical models, model test at the INM (Istituto di Ingegneria del Mare) indoor basin, fabrication and installation of a prototype in the waters of a sea laboratory in front of Naples managed by both CNR-INM and the Engineering Department of Università degli Studi della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”. The first prototype of the HEXAFLOAT will already touch the waters in the spring of 2021.

Mauro Piasere, Digital and Innovation director and COO of Saipem XSIGHT division, declared: “This agreement represents the start of a synergy between the biggest Italian research centre and Saipem, leading to an advancement in the TRL (Technology Readiness Level) of our floating foundation and at the same time to an improvement of the design criteria which are fundamentals to accelerate the cost reduction curve. Structure cost and technological reliability are indeed essential to push the market towards technologies that are not at industrial level yet. In future, we foresee ever increasing applications of floating wind foundations, that could be installed in those marine areas where the water is deeper like Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Japan, US Western Coast, Norway, and this agreement will help us in getting ready for that.

“The signing of this agreement, which sees Hexafloat as a fundamental element in the push towards a viable and diversified energy transition, testifies to the growing success of our offshore renewables strategy,” commented Francesco Racheli, COO of Saipem’s E&C Offshore division. “The agreement will further consolidate our innovative Research and Development activities in floating offshore wind not only in Italy but the world over.”

"The CNR-Saipem agreement marks a first significant objective of the scientific activity carried out in the System Research project. The synergy between the largest national player in floating wind technology and the main research body in the marine renewable sector is a virtuous example which will favor a substantial step forward for our country in knowledge and innovation for technologies in the marine renewable sector, both for the Mediterranean and for other European and international marine environments ", declared Emilio Fortunato Campana, director of the Engineering Department, ICT and technologies for energy and transport of the National Research Council (Diitet-Cnr).