Ireland to lead MaRINET2

02 Feb 2017
Pictured at the launch are Professor Tony Lewis, Emeritus Beaufort Professor at University College Cork,  Katie Lynch, Research Engineer, MaREI, and Dr. Jimmy Murphy, Co-ordinator of MaRINET2. Pic: Diane Cusack

Pictured at the launch are Professor Tony Lewis, Emeritus Beaufort Professor at University College Cork, Katie Lynch, Research Engineer, MaREI, and Dr. Jimmy Murphy, Co-ordinator of MaRINET2. Pic: Diane Cusack

An investment of €10.5 million in EU funding for marine renewable test facilities was recently announced in Dublin by University College Cork.

It is the second phase of funding in the transnational, multi-million euro initiative, called MaRINET2, which aims to help industry accelerate the development of offshore renewable energy technologies and infrastructure by opening up access to 57 test facilities across 13 European countries. The project is co-ordinated by MaREI, the Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy, at University College Cork.

MaRINET2, the Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network, is a network of 39 partners, involving research centres and organisations who work together to progress offshore renewable energy technologies such as wave, tidal and offshore-wind. This pan-European network will provide marine energy development companies, entrepreneurs, start-ups and researchers with fully-funded access to marine energy experts and the world's leading wave, tidal and offshore-wind test facilities.

Speaking at the launch of MaRINET2 in Dublin, Dr. Jimmy Murphy, Co-ordinator of MaRINET2 said, “MaRINET is a model for success and demonstrates what we can achieve in terms of collaboration and sharing knowledge transnationally. It will reduce the risk and financial burden of technology development in the offshore renewable energy sector and complement the existing national SEAI funding for these developers to test in Ireland e.g. at the Lir National Ocean Test Facilities, funded by SEAI and Science Foundation Ireland.”

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), working with key partners, leads the development of the emerging ocean energy sector in Ireland. SEAI is providing funding to novel technologies from prototypes to full scale devices, and is developing test facilities, the supply chain and infrastructure required to progress the industry.

Irish Partners for MARINET2 include SmartBay Ireland, National University of Ireland, Galway and the University of Limerick.

Professor Tony Lewis, who led the first MaRINET programme and was strongly supported by the French, will continue to be a driving force in MaRINET2. In recognition of his invaluable contribution to the offshore renewable energy sector across Europe, Mr. Jean-Pierre Thébault, Ambassador of France to Ireland presented Professor Lewis with the grand honour of Chevalier des Palmes Académiques.

 Speaking at the ceremony, Prof. Lewis said; “I am hugely honoured to accept the award of Chevalier des Palmes Académiques from Msr. Jean-Pierre Thébault, the French Ambassador to Ireland. I have a longstanding positive relationship, with many French Universities through exchange of students as well as joint European funded research projects such as MaRINET2.”

By Jake Frith