Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland has been awarded more than €9.3m in funding from the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) to establish a centre to support cross-border research in the fields of bio-energy and marine-based renewable energy.
Named Bryden Centre for Advanced Marine and Bio-Energy Research, the project covers the use of tidal power at ocean energy sites Strangford Lough and the North Antrim Coast in Western Scotland.
The centre will also study the potential for wave and tidal power generation in Donegal, Ireland.
The proposed project will particularly focus on heat, biogas, and anaerobic digestion of agricultural food waste.
Various small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) striving to improve their capacity within the renewable energy sector are expected to benefit from the research.
SEUPB CEO Gina McIntyre said: “The region has a low level of industry-relevant research and innovation within the renewable energy sector.
“The Bryden Centre project will help address this issue by creating a new centre of competence made up of dedicated PhD students creating high-quality research with strong commercial potential.
“This is one of the core objectives of the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme as it has allocated a total of €71.7m worth of funding to enhance and develop the research and innovation capacity of businesses on both sides of the border.”
The Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation and the Department of Economy in Northern Ireland has provided the match-funding for the project, which will see the recruitment of 34 new PhD students and six post-doctoral research associates.
Entities including Scotland’s University of Highlands and Islands, Ireland’s Letterkenny Institute of Technology, and the Agricultural Food and Biosciences Institute are involved in the research.
Image: Launch of the Bryden Centre project. Photo: courtesy of Queen's University Belfast.