A new Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) SFI Research Centre at University College Cork (UCC) is to receive millions of euro in funding to help position Ireland at the forefront of the global marine renewable energy sector.
The centre will receive €19m from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) with a further €10.5m from 45 industry partners.
In addition to directly supporting 77 jobs, MaREI has the potential to support long-term job creation, through spin-out companies and intellectual property in the area of marine renewable technology and marine energy materials, devices and solutions for industry.
The centre will look at various challenges surrounding the deployment of marine renewable energy devices, the connection of such devices to the national grid, energy storage, and marine governance, planning, economics and environmental issues.
The work at MaREI
Staff at MaREI will research aspects of marine renewable energy, from marine robotics and materials to endure ocean conditions, to offshore wind, wave and marine energy devices, as well as technologies to deliver power to the grid for electricity supply at home and abroad.
The next generation of engineers and scientists for the marine renewable energy industry will also be trained and educated at MaREI.
Minister of State for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock, TD, who officially launched the centre today, said that by making Ireland an international focal point for the marine renewable industry, MaREI will help create solutions for the marine energy industry to meet national and international sustainable energy demands, and ensure jobs created in this sector benefit the Irish economy.
“MaREI will prepare ocean technologies for market by removing technical and commercial barriers, and will directly create companies and jobs, thereby serving as a catalyst for Ireland to establish a safe, sustainable and profitable energy supply for domestic use and for export,” Sherlock added.
MaREI involves more than 45 industry partners, including Intel, Siemens, DePuy, Bord Gáis Energy, ESB Energy International, many other global market leaders and indigenous SMEs in energy, marine technology, software and hardware.
Academic partners include lead partner UCC, along with Cork IT, Teagasc, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, University College Dublin, and University of Limerick.
Offshore wind turbines image via Shutterstock