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€6.1m Supercluster To ‘power’ Renewable Energy Growth Across Ireland And Scotland

Major four-year research project aims to ramp up the commercialisation of new products and processes across the renewable energy sector in Northern Ireland, Ireland and Scotland

‘Renewable Engine’, a ground-breaking cross-border
research and innovation ‘supercluster’ which will deliver focused research and
innovation support to companies specialising in renewable energy and advanced
manufacturing and engineering across Ireland and Scotland, was officially
launched today (28 November 2017).


Supported by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB)
as part of its INTEREG VA programme, the
four-year ‘Renewable Engine’ project will see companies such as Kingspan,
CDEnviro, Organic Power and Doosan Babcock paired with 12 specialist PhD
researchers.


The project’s unique industry-academic
collaborative emphasis aims to spearhead innovation in the renewable energy
sector by giving companies access to world class facilities and resources
available through academic partners.


Of the €6.1m assigned to the pioneering project,
€5.8m of the funding has come from SEUPB, with the remainder to be provided by
the Department for the Economy NI and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and
Innovation in Ireland.


Led by South West College, ‘Renewable Engine’
project partners include Queen’s University Belfast, Institute of Technology
Sligo, University of Strathclyde, Manufacturing NI, Action Renewables and Mid
Ulster Council who will facilitate direct knowledge transfer, technology
development and innovation across the initiative.


Education, training and professional support will
be provided by the globally-recognised Centre for Renewable Energy and
Sustainable Technology (CREST) at South West College, the Polymer Processing
Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, the Precision Engineering,
Materials & Manufacturing Research Centre at IT Sligo and the High Value
Manufacturing Catapult at the Advanced Forming Research Centre, University of
Strathclyde, Glasgow.


Illustrating the calibre of the partners involved,
the Advanced Forming Research Centre is already world renowned for its links to
global industry leaders such as Boeing and Rolls-Royce.


Welcoming the project Gina McIntyre, CEO of the
SEUPB said:


“This project will help to address the low levels
of industry relevant Research and Innovation within the renewable energy sector
and help participating firms become more innovation active. It will provide
companies, on a cross-border basis, with access to world-class facilities and
resources and in doing so help to realise one of the core objectives of the
EU’s INTERREG VA Programme."


The four-year project will be implemented across
Northern Ireland, the border region of Ireland and Western Scotland
and aims to
generate almost 60 years’ worth of industry-relevant research developed at PhD
level and above.

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