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The Work Programme carried out by the Contracting Parties within the framework of OES consists of research, development, demonstration, analysis and information exchange related to ocean energy systems.

The Collaborative research work carried out by the OES is structured into specific tasks/projects, using two distinct approaches:

• Large projects (“tasks”) conducted by a group of countries interested in the topic to which only participants in the project contribute. Whenever three or more contracting parties support a proposal and sufficient funding is raised, a new research project can be established. One of the proposing parties will usually become the Operating Agent, accountable for delivery of the project and management of its dedicated budget. Participation by ExCo members is voluntary and usually by cost-sharing, task-sharing or both – “Bottom-Up” approach.

• Small projects (“tasks”) of interest to all members, usually financed by the Common Fund, so all members are effectively contributing equally to these deliverables. Usually an interested volunteer member prepares the Terms of Reference of any proposed Task. The delegates are invited to bid to participate in this work; applications are evaluated and selected by a sub-committee of 3-4 voluntary ExCo members. The work is then undertaken by a group of members - both through cost- and task-sharing - and may include participation of external experts – “Top-Down” approach.