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Cork Harbour €200m Marine Energy Research Centre Underway

2nd July 2013
Cork Harbour €200m Marine Energy Research Centre Underway

#marinescience – Ireland's access to two of the most powerful natural resources in the world – wave and wind – has lead Government to give the green light to a new €200 million maritime research Centre that aims to propel Ireland to the forefront of global maritime and energy markets.

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny will to turn the sod on the Beaufort Research Centre next Thursday, 11 July in Cork Harbour.

In February, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton, and the Minister for Research and Innovation, Mr. Seán Sherlock, announced details of Science Foundation Ireland's (SFI) largest state/industry research investment in Irish history. State investment of €200m will be matched by a contribution of some €100m by the business sector over the next six years.

The hugely ambitious plans are drawn from research at the maritime cluster in the Ringaskiddy area, bringing together SERG (Sustainable Energy Research Group) and the HMRC (Hydraulics & Maritime Research Centre) and the CMRC (Coastal and Marine Research Centre).

Th Beaufort centre will provide an accessible entry point for international and national industry and research groups focused on sustainable resource development as well as a Centre of academic excellence for education on maritime and energy fields, and ensure that Ireland is a global leader in research in the maritime & sustainable energy field.

The investment in the Beaufort Research Centre is a combined €200 million project, and will allow for the creation of 200 jobs during construction, as well as permanent staff thereafter in the area of 150.

Ocean energy advocate Dr. Tony Lewis (UCC)  who heads up the new centre has been working to harness wave power when few could see the potential. Georgina Foley who is Business Development and Access Manager for the Beaufort Research Centre is also driving this project. 

The architects on the centre are McCullough Mulvin from Dublin. 

Ireland is in one of the best locations in terms of marine renewable energy resources. This centre will develop the science and technology required by industry to generate wave, tidal and floating wind energy devices. MaREI will carry out world leading research on all aspects required for the success of the marine renewable energy sector while also educating and training the next generation of engineers and scientists for the marine renewable energy industry.

Published in Marine Science Team

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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.


At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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