Four top universities join ORE Catapult’s marine energy hub in Wales

Four of the top universities in Wales have formally joined the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s Marine Energy Engineering Centre of Excellence (MEECE) in Pembroke Dock.

Illustration (Courtesy of Swansea University)

Swansea, Cardiff, Cardiff Metropolitan and Bangor universities will support innovation projects through ORE Catapult’s flagship hub for advancing the Welsh marine and offshore renewable energy sectors.

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Government and Swansea Bay City Deal, MEECE is part of the £60 million (€73.2 million) Pembroke Dock Marine Project.

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It is a catalyst for research, technology innovation and testing and demonstration to accelerate the commercialization of wave, tidal and offshore wind sectors by reducing the cost of energy, improving efficiency and reliability, and supporting the growth of the Welsh supply chain.

Each of the four universities will bring unique capabilities to enhance the value the center offers to the growing Welsh offshore renewable energy industry and supply chain.

Swansea University will act as lead academic partner and will coordinate activity within the university partners, working closely with organizations such as UK EPSRC, Supergen ORE, Ocean Energy Europe and other coordinating bodies to ensure that projects are complementary to other funded activities.

To remind, Swansea University has extensive experience in numerical modelling and the physical testing of wave and tidal devices and has developed several open-source design tools in collaboration with the marine energy industry, whilst also operating a wave flume and wind tunnel.

Stephen Wyatt, research and innovation director for ORE Catapult, said: “Having our university partners onboard will greatly enhance the MEECE offering to the Welsh offshore wind, wave and tidal energy sectors. We will be able to draw on their unique and world-leading facilities and expertise to complement our own and drive technology innovation, supporting existing businesses and new companies looking to set up in the region to grasp the huge economic opportunities on offer.”

Ian Masters, MEECE research lead at Swansea University, added: “Teamwork is what Wales is good at. This country with the sea on three sides has the right team to make Marine Energy a success. I am proud to be working with the other universities to deliver great science and engineering to deliver marine renewable energy for Wales.”