Established in 2008, NNMREC is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to facilitate the development of marine renewable energy technologies via research, education, and outreach. University partners include Oregon State University (OSU), the University of Washington (UW), and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).

Toward the goal of accelerating responsible development of renewable energy, NNMREC faculty and students investigate technical, environmental, and social dimensions of ocean energy technologies, performing research that fills knowledge gaps. Through this research, students are becoming industry pioneers, educating themselves in these promising new fields. NNMREC itself serves as a neutral voice of science and engineering to inform the public and decision-makers about the effects and capabilities of marine energy technologies.