Consortium awarded extra funding to create £9 million offshore renewables hub

Consortium awarded extra funding to create £9 million offshore renewables hub

A national consortium which has the University of Aberdeen as a core member has been awarded an additional £4 million funding to cement the UK's position as a global leader in offshore renewable energy (ORE) innovation and research.

The Supergen ORE Hub was created in July 2018 to bring together a network of academic, industrial and policy stakeholders to champion and maintain the UK’s wave, tidal and offshore wind expertise.

It was initially awarded £5million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and has now received an additional £4million to expand the support it offers researchers working across the country.

Prof Beth Scott from the University of Aberdeen is a co-director of the project, which combines world-leading research on wind, wave and tidal renewable industries in one grouping.

Ecologist  Prof Scott will work directly with engineers at every stage of the design process from materials to be used, individual device plans, array design, Operations and Management logistics and locational sighting to ensure an environmental sustainable approach to future offshore energy developments.

Prof Scott has extensive experience in multi and inter-disciplinary programmes. Her cross-disciplinary skills and experience have often provided the facilitation needed for engineers and physical oceanographers to work successfully with fish, seabird and marine mammal biologists. She also has a history of translating science into policy in work regarding marine protected area (MPA) networks and marine spatial planning and in collaboration with governance leaders, industry, lawyers, marine planners and social scientists.

She said:  “I am absolutely delighted that the additional investment has been made in this project, which has a vital role to play in the UK’s future energy generation.

“It will enable us to build on our existing ambitious programme of work, providing greater funds for early career and established researchers within the Supergen ORE Hub.”

The Supergen ORE Hub is led by Professor Deborah Greaves OBE, Head of the School of Engineering and Computing, Electronics and Mathematics at the University of Plymouth.

Other partners include the universities of Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Exeter, Hull, Manchester, Oxford, Southampton, and Warwick.

The new investment will allow extra funding to be made available through the Hub’s annual Flexible Fund rounds, providing grants of up to £100,000 to seed areas that complement existing research, fill gaps or add cross cutting activities to explore the transfer of research findings between sectors within ORE.

It will also enable an additional number of post-doctoral researchers to be employed across the 10 partner universities, expanding the Hub’s Early Career Researchers network.

More money will also be invested into the Hub’s Research Landscape, an interactive tool designed to create a comprehensive database of ORE research taking place in universities and other organisations across the UK.