Cross-border renewable energy centre opens at Queen’s University Belfast

A €9.7 million (£8.2million) cross-border research centre for renewable energy projects has launched at Queen’s University in Belfast.

The Bryden Centre for Advanced Marine and Bio-Energy Research, named after the late Professor Ian Bryden, will recruit 34 PhD students, including at the University of the Highlands and Islands, across the marine and bio-energy disciplines.

Professor Clive Mulholland, Principal and Vice-chancellor of the University of Highlands and Islands commented: “There is huge potential for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland to lead the way in marine and bio-energy. We are proud to collaborate with our partners to develop cutting-edge research and we believe the centre is a fitting tribute to our much missed colleague, Professor Ian Bryden.”

Funded by the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, and managed by the SEUPB the centre was opened during a ceremony at Queen’s University Belfast.

Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland.

This research includes the use of tidal power at ocean energy sites in Western Scotland, Strangford Lough and the North Antrim Coast, as well as the potential for wave and tidal power generation in Donegal.

The abundance of natural energy resources, value in organic waste and the opportunities for the circular economy in the inter-regional area have also driven the focus of the bio-energy research. The potential for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland to become leaders in marine renewable energy is vast.

Welcoming the project Gina McIntyre, CEO of the SEUPB said: “The project receives support from the EU INTERREG VA because it will positively address the low level of high value sectors of research and innovation within this cross-border region, by creating invaluable industry-relevant research into bio-energy and marine-based renewable energy sources. Bringing together, for the first time, a number of partners on a cross-border basis across Northern Ireland, Ireland and Western Scotland, who have the capacity to deliver high quality research and so create a strong economic impact in the future in this region.

“The project also aligns with the EU’s Energy 2020 agenda, specifically the renewable energy directive which requires that all 28 member states meet at least 20% of their total energy needs with renewables by 2020.”

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