Research

Marine renewable energy partnership re-launches as a network of excellence

South west universities and industry unite to research marine renewable energy solutions

A consortium of marine renewable energy experts across higher education, research and industry have joined together to establish a ‘network of excellence’.

The Universities of Plymouth, Exeter, Southampton, Bristol and Bath, along with the Marine Biological Association and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, have agreed to work together on research projects across the spectrum of marine renewables.

Completing the line-up of the Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is the South West Marine Energy Park and the Wave Hub facility off the north coast of Cornwall, who will act as conduits between the research community and industry.

The partnership will help ensure the sustained growth of marine renewable research and development in the South, similar to the success that consortia in Scotland and Wales have enjoyed.

Professor Jane Millar, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) commented:  “Marine renewable energy has great potential. I know colleagues at Bath are committed to this important research partnership, building on the strengths and expertise in the region. I think we can expect significant advances over the next few years.”

Professor Gary Hawley, Dean of our Faculty of Engineering & Design added: “By joining forces with our partners in the region, we can now both share in and contribute to the significant research expertise and facilities which PRIMaRE now represents.”

PRIMaRE was originally launched in 2007 as a peninsula-focused research collaboration between Plymouth, Exeter and Wave Hub. But following the signing of a seven-year memorandum of understanding, the group has welcomed the Universities of Southampton, Bristol and Bath, as well as the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, and the Plymouth-based Marine Biological Association. In addition to its membership, it has also expanded its research focus to include off-shore wind power.

The relaunch of PRIMaRE was confirmed at its first annual conference, held in Plymouth over two days, at which more than 100 members of academia and the industry heard from experts and keynote speakers.

The University of Exeter will take over chairing the group this month, a position that will rotate between the members on an annual basis.

Professor Lars Johanning, the new chair of PRIMaRE said: “With the aim to foster a multi-institutional world-class research cluster in all aspects of marine renewable energy in the South West, the collective network has gathered a strength essential to support the fast growing Marine Renewable Energy sector, providing essential research to accelerate commercial realisation.

“Working closely with industry and the national and international centres such as South West Marine Energy Park (SWMEP), the UK Centre for Marine Energy (UKCMER), the Low Carbon Research Institute (LCRI), Wave Energy Centre (WavEC) Primare is committed to implement essential research activities.”

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