The Archimedes Wave Swings would be moored to the seabed
A company developing a wave power system has set its sights on winning the world's largest prize for marine energy innovation.
AWS Ocean Energy intends to double its workforce in 12 months, in part to improve its chances of securing the Scottish Government's Saltire Prize.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond unveiled details of the award while on a visit to the US.
Ross-shire-based AWS plans to deploy its system off Orkney next year.
The Archimedes Wave Swing would operate at least 6m (19ft) below the sea's surface.
The device is a cylinder-shaped buoy moored to the seabed.
Passing waves move an upper casing against a lower fixed cylinder and the movement is converted into electricity.
AWS said that because the system was submerged below the surface, it was "invisible" and would not cause a visual impact or become a hazard to shipping.
It could also survive violent storms, according to the Alness-based company.
To prepare for its deployment, it plans to recruit software engineers and graduate engineers to its workforce of 13 staff.