16 March 2017 - The world is transitioning to more sustainable energy sources and offshore renewable energy (offshore wind, wave and tidal) has the potential to make a significant contribution to this endeavour. Yesterday in Brussels the H2020 marinerg-i project was launched representing an important initiative that sets out to develop an integrated European infrastructure to facilitate future growth and development in the offshore renewable energy sector.

The €2m H2020 marinerg-i project is coordinated by the MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy at University College Cork Ireland and will run until June 2019. With 13 partners in 12 countries, (France, United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark), marinerg-i brings together all European countries with significant testing capabilities in offshore renewable energy.

This official launch event highlighted the importance of the H2020 marinerg-i project as an essential first step in realising the partnering facilities’ combined vision to form an independent legal entity and be adopted onto the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) roadmap in 2020. marinerg-i will thus be positioned to strengthen European scientific and engineering expertise and foster innovation in offshore renewable technologies. By consolidating investment on infrastructure and expertise across Europe, marinerg-i will offer the best quality service and will act as a magnet to attract further funding.

Senior EU representatives with responsibility for research and development of offshore renewable energy gathered for the official launch. Also attending were key industry representatives for whom the integrating activity of marinerg-i will play a critical role in the process of developing technologies from concept through to market.

According to project coordinator Jimmy Murphy “Our vision is to ensure that marinerg-i will accelerate the research, development and deployment of offshore wind, wave, tidal and combined energy technologies and maintain Europe as a global leader in this industry”.

The project aims to develop both scientific and business plans addressing governance, legal, financial and strategic issues which will facilitate its inclusion in a 2020 ESFRI roadmap application. It will also standardise best practice, improve efficiency, and create an e-infrastructure blueprint to facilitate remote access and enable a radical improvement in data management.

MaREI is a marine and renewable energy research, development and innovation Centre supported by Science Foundation Ireland. MaREI’s infrastructure includes the Lir National Ocean Test Facility, a custom designed facility for small to medium scale laboratory testing of ocean and maritime systems. This project will unite test facilities across the EU to help Europe develop offshore renewable energy.

This project has received funding from the EU H2020 Infradev programme under Grant Agreement No- 739550