Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has officially opened the UCC Beaufort Building, a marine research and development center, in Ringaskiddy, Ireland.
The 4.700 m squared five storey building features state-of-the-art wave simulators, test tanks, workshops and offices.
It will house house the headquarters of the multi-institutional home to the SFI MaREI Centre (Marine Renewable Energy Ireland) and the LIR National Ocean Test Facility.
The wave tanks in the Beaufort Building are capable of producing actual waves of up to 1.2 metres high, which are equivalent to more than 30 m waves experienced in extreme conditions off the west coast of Ireland and in the Atlantic, and will be used by LIR, the National Ocean Test Facility located in the Beaufort Building, University College Cork’s press release reads.
Speaking at the official opening Enda Kenny said: “Marine research and development is a part of this Government’s plan to rebuild a sustainable enterprise based economy. Our seas will increasingly support more jobs, enterprise and research. UCC Beaufort Building, while firmly rooted on dry land, is a vessel of scientific discovery for our seas. Its world class facilities will attract world class researchers and new entrepreneurial endeavours in the maritime and energy sectors. The spirit of collaboration between academia, private enterprise and the Irish Naval Service in Irish maritime research is a model for public – private partnerships not only in Ireland, but globally.”
Led by Professsor Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, Director of MaREI, the centre will cater for 135 researchers, industry partners and support staff, dedicated to solving the challenges related to marine renewable energy, the multi-disciplinary centre has already secured €30 million in funding through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and contracts with industry partners comprising of multinationals and SMEs.
It is located adjacent to the National Maritime College of Ireland, and represents a major extension of the University’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI) and will be UCC’s flagship presence on the IMERC Campus.
The facilities comprise a 2.600 m2 tank-hall which will house four different wave tanks and a suite of electrical test infrastructure, alongside scientists and engineers engaged in cross-disciplinary research covering a range of fields such as marine renewable energy, marine and coastal, and sustainable energy research.
The SFI MaREI Centre is a cluster of key university and industrial partners dedicated to solving the main scientific, technological and socio-economic challenges related to marine renewable energy.
Images: UCC Ireland/MaREI