#UCC – An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. turned the sod at the site of the new Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy, in Cork Harbour today (Thursday, 11 July).
Led by University College Cork, which is acknowledged as Ireland's leading maritime science and engineering Institute, the Beaufort building will be a flagship development in the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC). Work will begin immediately on this unique building, which includes the National Ocean Test facility. Over €15 million has been invested in this world-class development.
An Taoiseach welcomed the investment stating that, "I am delighted to be here to turn the sod for the UCC Beaufort Building which will employ 135 people when complete and provide 200 jobs in the construction stage. Ireland needs to be able to compete globally where new research in fields like sustainable energy and maritime science are concerned. The Government's Action Plan for Jobs 2013 recognises this and the UCC Beaufort building will play an important role in the marine energy sector and help to drive Ireland's economic recovery".
"The President of UCC, Dr. Michael Murphy commended the work of the Beaufort Research team led by Beaufort Director and Professor of Energy Engineering at UCC, Prof. Tony Lewis.
"The positioning of Beaufort Research as an international leader in the area of maritime and energy research is evidenced by the success of Beaufort in securing funding in excess of €50 million <#_ftn1> from European programmes and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) in recent years.
We welcome the development of the Beaufort Building, which brings together the Hydraulics and Maritime Research Centre (HMRC), Coastal Marine Research Centre (CMRC) and the Sustainable Energy Research Group (SERG) to form a cornerstone of the maritime cluster based here in Ringaskiddy. This centre will continue to drive academia and industry to the forefront of global developments in marine renewable energy research."
The Director of Beaufort Research, Prof Tony Lewis, welcomed "this historic day" as the culmination of his career in maritime engineering and marine renewable energy. The realisation of this UCC facility and its location within the IMERC Campus will place Beaufort at the epicentre of research and innovation in the maritime and energy field in the future.
The construction of the new building will commence immediately, creating 200 jobs during development. When completed in 2014, Beaufort Research will employ 135 full time researchers. The Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) estimates that direct employment in this high value sector could double over the next five years, leading to further investment and job creation opportunities.
Named after the Irish Hydrographer, Rear Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort, who was responsible for the introduction of the globally adopted Beaufort Scale, Beaufort Research will provide an accessible entry point for national and international industry and research groups focused on sustainable resource development and will ensure Ireland's position as a global leader in maritime and energy markets.
The facilities at the 4,700 sq. metre building will include the National Ocean Test Facility with a teaching flume and a large test flume (35m x 12m x 3m deep) and 12 electric paddles (ocean wave generators, Edinburgh design), multiple beach scenarios, 1m @ 2.7 second waves and a movable floor among other features required for maritime and wave energy research. The infrastructure will also house the ocean wave basin (25m x 18m x 2m.deep) with 40 wave paddles to produce real three dimensional seas at model scale. A coastal flume (27m x 3m x 1m deep) which includes a flow facility can be used to test tidal turbines. There will be mechanical and electrical workshops, a Power Take-Off lab and Energy Storage and Smart-grid labs as well as industry suites and an incubation space of 200 sq. metres initially.