Wave energy converter (WEC) technology development as a whole has to date not yet delivered the desired commercial maturity nor, and more importantly, the techno-economic performance. The reasons for this have been recognized and fundamental requirements for successful WEC technology development have been identified. This paper describes a new project pursued by both National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, working in collaboration. Based on the specification of fundamental functional requirements of wave energy converters, structured innovation and problem solving methodologies are applied to identify new wave energy converter concepts. Using Technology Performance Levels (TPL) as an assessment metric at early development stages, high performance technology concepts are identified and selected for further development. System performance is numerically modelled; optimized and key performance aspects are empirically validated. The project deliverables will be technology specifications of high techno-economic performance wave energy converter technologies of TPL 7 or higher at Technology Readiness Levels of TRP3 with some key technology challenges investigated at higher TRL. These wave energy converter technology specifications will be made available to industry for further and full development and commercialisation through the achievement of economic viability.