The Irish marine renewable energy sector is set to benefit from a new €9m EU-funded initiative to provide access to test facilities in specialist marine renewable energy centres across Europe. ‘MaRINET’ (Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network) offers periods of marine renewable energy testing at these centres at no cost to participants through funding from the European Commission. The UCC-led initiative is being coordinated by the Hydraulics and Maritime Research Centre (HMRC) at UCC. HMRC is part of the new Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC) which was launched recently by the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.
MaRINET supports testing of concepts and devices in areas such as wave energy, tidal energy, offshore-wind energy and the environment, to accelerate Europe-wide development of marine renewable energy. The funding seeks to remove financial barriers for the first time by enabling companies and research groups to access unique world-class European testing facilities outside their own country, which is generally not covered under national grant schemes.
The initiative, with at least four calls for applications, runs until 2015 and the first call for applications opened on 1st December. Potential users, who must work in Europe or a country associated to the European FP7 programme, are invited to apply to access this first call.