#powerfromthesea – Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources Alex White T.D. welcomed the announcement that the SFI Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) had successfully raised an additional €4.2 million in funding from EU research funds for marine energy activities.
The announcement of the substantial EU funding was made to an audience of more than 130 industry and university representatives involved in a variety of marine energy research projects, attending the MaREI Industry Open Day at the National Maritime College of Ireland in Cork.
"I want to commend MaREI on their success in securing substantial EU support to fund their very important research and development work. It is truly laying the foundations for both the energy system and economic opportunity of the future."
Speaking at the MaREI Industry Open Day, Prof. Mark Ferguson, Director General Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland added, "MaREI is one of twelve SFI Research Centres of excellence and impact in Ireland. Research undertaken at MaREI is positioning Ireland to play a leading role in marine renewable energy research which is an area of significant national strategic importance. In its first year MaREI has delivered on the targets which we have set. I look forward to a successful year ahead for MaREI, in terms of new industry partnerships, leveraging funding and new discoveries that will deliver solutions that can benefit both Irish society and the economy."
Prof. Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, Director of the MaREI Centre said that "Large and small companies alike are engaging with MaREI across a huge variety of business opportunities from marine robotics and new materials to endure ocean conditions, to offshore wind, wave and marine energy and mooring devices as well as aquaculture and grid technology solutions. The additional funding from the EU will serve to further position MaREI at the forefront of marine renewable research and commercialisation of this research globally."
The industry-academia MaREI Centre comprises over 45 industry partners, including global market leaders in energy, marine technology, software and hardware providers. Academic partners include lead partner University College Cork along with Cork Institute of Technology, University of Limerick, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, University College Dublin and the Marine Institute.
"MaREI will directly create companies and jobs and serve as a catalyst for Ireland to establish a safe, sustainable and profitable energy supply for domestic use and for export," said Professor Anita Maguire, Vice-President for Research and Innovation at University College Cork.
Minister Alex White also toured the €15 million UCC Beaufort building, performing the customary "topping out" ceremony, which marks the final phase of building works. Beaufort will house the MaREI centre on its completion in July 2015.
The MaREI Centre initially received government support of €19 million through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and a further €10.5 million investment from industry partners. The Centre supports job creation in the in marine renewables sector, while also making Ireland an international focus for the marine energy industry. Almost 90 jobs in the field of marine energy and maritime projects were recently announced by Minister for Agriculture, Food, Marine and Defence Simon Coveney, T.D. for the Cork Harbour region, and MaREI is heavily involved in supporting these companies and the related jobs.