As reported by The Irish Times and The Journal.ie, a total of Ђ29.5 million will be invested in the creation of a new marine research centre, placing Ireland at the forefront of the marine renewable energy research sector.
The creation of this new centre, to be known as The Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) Centre, could create up to 77 jobs and is set to be based in University College Cork (UCC). The centre will receive Ђ19 million from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) with a remaining 10.5 million to be financed from a further 45 industry partners from a range of Irish companies and universities.
The centre will be a world class leader in the marine research field with studies ranging from marine robotics and materials to revolutionary technologies. Sean Sherlock, Minister for Research, has welcomed the news, stating: “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 that jobs created in this sector benefit the national 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.”
The centre will also train and educate budding engineers and scientists for the marine renewable energy sector. Professor Tony Lewis, MaREI interim director and director of Beaufort Research UCC, says: “This centre will develop the science and technology solutions required by industry to develop commercial wave, tidal and floating wind energy devices through cutting-edge research.”
In addition to the 77 jobs that will be directly created through the centre, there is potential for more jobs to be created through spin-out companies in the field of marine renewable technology and marine energy materials, devices and solutions for the industry, which is further good news for Ireland’s improving economy.