SFI MaREI Centre & LIR to be housed at €15 Million Beaufort Building in Ireland’s maritime quarter
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. officially opened the UCC Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork on Saturday 11th of July. Beaufort will house both the LIR National Ocean Test Facility (NOTF) and 135 researchers from the MaREI centre (www.marei.ie). The 4,700m2 five storey building with state-of-the-art wave simulators, test tanks, workshops and offices provides Ireland with world-class infrastructure for renewable energy and maritime research to power the ‘blue economy’.
Speaking at the official opening, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said, “Ireland is uniquely positioned to address the increasing demand for energy, with our abundant ocean and wave resources and our internationally recognised expertise in the maritime sector. The UCC Beaufort Building, and the people and organisations it will house, is a key element of our national infrastructure in the maritime and energy sectors, and will be a linchpin for our ability to attract investment, develop Ireland’s blue economy and enhance our global competitiveness.”
The new NOTF features upgraded and expanded facilities including an ocean wave basin, test flumes, and coastal/tidal flume capabilities, together with mechanical and electrical workshops, and power take-off, energy storage and smart-grid laboratories. It will be centre of excellence within Ireland for Ocean Renewables and Coastal Engineering providing support to the maritime industry as well as fundamental test facilities for wave simulation and research and development. It will provide an ideal testing environment throughout all phases of device development, offering wave basin, wave flume and ancillary capabilities, together with a diverse assortment of supporting expertise and infrastructure.
The MaREI centre will also form a critical piece in Irelands Maritime Energy Research Cluster (IMERC), which also includes the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI), Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the Irish Defence Forces. Having recently announced over 90 new jobs as a direct result of foreign direct investment, IMERC has been very successful in attracting international companies in the area of ocean energy and maritime research.