Cross-border tidal research center opens in Belfast

Illustration/SeaGen tidal turbine in the Strangford Lough (Photo: Queen’s University Belfast)

Queen’s University Belfast has officially opened the €9.7 million cross-border research center for renewable energy projects in UK and Ireland.

Funded by the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, the Bryden Centre for Advanced Marine and Bio-Energy Research will recruit 34 PhD students across the marine and bio-energy disciplines.

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

Speaking at the launch of the Bryden project in Belfast, Irish Government Chief Whip and Minister of State, Joe McHugh, said:

“The Irish government is delighted to be co-funding this exciting project which will help advance valuable research into various renewable energy technologies. I am particularly pleased that this project brings together expertise from colleges and other partners in Northern Ireland, Ireland and Western Scotland.

“The results of such broad ranging co-operation and utilization of high-level skills will bring shared benefits to all three administrations, as it drives the pursuit of renewable energy research to a new level. We all share the ambition that practical benefits for sustainable future energy development will flow from this project.”

Working with a number of cross-border partners including the University of Highlands and Islands, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ulster University, the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute, Donegal County Council and Dumfries and Galloway Council, the project is expected to create the largest amount of cross-border research on bio-energy and marine-based renewable energy sources to date.

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.

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