Governments are increasingly turning toward public–private partnerships to bring industry support to improving public assets or services. Here, we describe a unique public–private collaboration where a government entity has developed mechanisms to support public and private sector advancement and commercialization of monitoring technologies for marine renewable energy. These support mechanisms include access to a range of skilled personnel and test facilities that promote rapid innovation, prove reliability, and inspire creativity in technology development as innovations move from concept to practice. The ability to iteratively test hardware and software components, sensors, and systems can accelerate adoption of new methods and instrumentation designs. As a case study, we present the development of passive acoustic monitoring technologies customized for operation in energetic waves and currents. We discuss the value of testing different systems together, under the same conditions, as well as the progression through different test locations. The outcome is multiple, complementary monitoring technologies that are well suited to addressing an area of high environmental uncertainty and reducing barriers to responsible deployment of low-carbon energy conversion systems, creating solutions for the future.