A collaboration designed to promote research and discussion within the UK’s marine renewable energy (MRE) sector has been awarded funding to increase the scope of its work.
PRIMaRE (the Partnership for Research In Marine Renewable Energy) is a network of world-class research institutions who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
It has now received a network grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to enhance its work through events, workshops and a summer school for those seeking to expand their knowledge in the MRE sector.
Between now and 2020, the partners will also explore opportunities to further expand the network and identifying more platforms through which to share its academic knowledge for the benefit of both society and the environment.
PRIMaRE was launched in 2013 and comprises the Universities of Plymouth, Exeter, Southampton, Bristol and Bath, as well as the Marine Biological Association, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the South West Marine Energy Park and the Wave Hub. It also has three associate members in the universities of Cardiff, Cranfield and Uppsala.
The funding comes as PRIMaRE stages its fourth annual conference, taking place at the University of Southampton on Thursday 06 and Friday 07 July.
Professor Deborah Greaves, Head of the School of Engineering at the University of Plymouth and Principal Investigator on the new funding, said:
“The UK is currently at the forefront of the MRE sector. But in order to maintain that position and meet Government targets, the industry needs to address a number of key challenges at both a regional and national level. Over the past four years, we have established a successful model through which academia and industry work together to address those challenges, and this new funding will enable us to expand that work to a new level.”
Over the next three years, the PRIMaRE partners will use the EPSRC funding in four main areas:
- to expand the annual PRIMaRE conference to become a key national and international event for the sector
- to stage a series of Key Challenge Workshops, to ensure industry and academia are aligned in identifying research priorities
- to fund travel for academics and professionals to develop new research collaborations nationally and internationally
- to launch an annual summer school, offering CPD programmes so that knowledge can be exchanged between researchers, the novel MRE industry and the wider sector.
Professor AbuBakr S Bahaj, the current Chair of PRIMaRE and Head of the Energy & Climate Change Division (ECCD) at the University of Southampton, added:
“We are delighted to host the annual PRIMaRE conference at the University of Southampton this year, with a very interesting programme of talks from academia and industry and with contributions from both within the UK and overseas. The PRIMaRE network has established a firm footing and we look forward to continuing to work together and to grow the network through the next phase.”