The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult centre, which will be formally announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable at the University of Strathclyde on Thursday February 9, will become a world-leading hub of expertise, developing innovative technologies that will reduce the cost of offshore renewable energy and help transform the UK into a low carbon economy.
The bid for the Centre was developed by a UK-wide consortium including the Carbon Trust, National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec), and Ocean Energy Innovation – a group of major players in renewables including the University of Strathclyde. It will receive up to £10 million per year over five years from the Technology Strategy Board.
Professor Jim McDonald, Chair of the Energy Technology Partnership and Principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: “I am delighted that this truly collaborative bid has been successful. By securing the UK Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the country will build on our already globally competitive reputation for advances in renewable technology and deployment. Our world-class research base offers distinct advantages and will accelerate industrial innovation. We will help to develop and drive the industry over the coming ten years and beyond.
“Strathclyde’s strategic commitment as a leading international technological university has been central to the positioning of Glasgow as a global hub for innovation and research in offshore renewable energy and power engineering more generally. In 2011 the ‘Economist’ recognised the quality and intensity of the activities in the city with Strathclyde being marked out as a key driver for this resurgence in engineering, energy and technology activity. The calibre of our graduates has also been an essential element of what has attracted industry, private and public sector collaborators here and this will greatly enhance the students’ opportunities for sponsorship, internship and ultimate employment.
We aim to make the ORE Catapult the world’s pre-eminent centre of expertise for rapid development and commercialisation of highly innovative technologies that will substantially reduce the cost of offshore renewable energy. This Centre will play a key role in bringing the vision of a successful UK offshore renewable energy sector into reality. The critical mass of renewables industry companies in Glasgow and its proximity to leading research capabilities will provide an ideal base from which the UK sectoral collaboration with be led.”
The ORE Catapult will be headquartered in Scottish Enterprise’s Industry Engagement Building, which will sit side-by-side with the University’s new £89 million Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) in the heart of the city. TIC has already attracted major international partners, including SSE, ScottishPower and the Weir Group, as well as financial backing from Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council.
The technology centres are at the heart of Scotland’s new International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone (ITREZ) – a global economic hub to bring innovative businesses to the city.
Professor McDonald added: “The activities of the ORE Catapult will provide the foundation for a large, vibrant and dynamic offshore renewables industry that is a global leader and a significant contributor to the nation’s economic growth through the near and longer terms. This investment, sitting alongside the University’s Technology and Innovation Centre, will make us one of the largest concentrations of research, education and KE in power and energy technologies in the world.”