Annual Report 2014
Country Reports


Prof. Tony Lewis Marine Renewable Energy Ireland Centre (MaREI) and the staff in the Ocean Energy Development Unit at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland



Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI)
MaREI is a research centre of excellence funded by Science Foundation Ireland. This is a virtual Centre with the Administration and Organisational Resources hosted within University College Cork but with associated research activities in the University of Limerick, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, University College Dublin, National University of Ireland, Galway and Cork Institute of Technology. The overall funding is €28 million for a period of 6 years and involves 42 industry partners who provide 30% of the funding. Prof. Conchur O’Bradaigh is the Director of this Centre and is also Professor of Energy Engineering within UCC. The research activities in MaREI are divided into a number of Spoke Projects which address specific problems relevant to the partner companies and Platform Projects which relate to underpinning research of a more general nature. 

The Beaufort Building will house a range of research activities in University College Cork related to ocean energy, energy systems and maritime topics. The €14 million building is funded by the Government Departments of Energy, Marine and Education together with external support from Bord Gais Eireann and the Industrial Development Authority. The construction commenced in early 2014 and is expected to open in July of 2015. The building will house the National Ocean Test Facility with large scale wave test tanks together with ancillary power take-off system simulators and supporting sustainable energy research facilities.

The Beaufort Building will represent the UCC presence within the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC). This is a grouping with the National Maritime College of Ireland and the Irish Naval Service on the large campus in Ringaskiddy, Cork. The overall campus will contain innovation and other buildings in a Technology Park related to maritime and energy commercial developments.

Beaufort Building – University College Cork (Oct 2014)

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
SFI have awarded Professor John Ringwood of the Wave Energy Group within the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, a grant of €1.5 million for “innovative research into wave energy development”. The research will work toward the development of the next generation of controllers for wave energy devices. Prof Ringwood is a Co-PI within the SFI funded MaREI Centre.


UCC (Beaufort-HMRC) co-ordinates the MaRINET (Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network for Energy Technologies) project. The initiative was reported last year and runs for four years until 2015, with at least six calls for access applications. In total, over 700 weeks of access is available to an estimated 300 projects and 800 external users. For further information see

This network of research centres which aims to accelerate the development of marine renewable energy (wave, tidal & offshore-wind) by bringing together world-class testing facilities to offer EU-funded testing and to coordinate focussed R&D. Many European marine renewable energy test centres have formed this network in order to work together to offer their unique capabilities and services in a coordinated way. The European Commission has supported this initiative by way of funding through the FP7 programme. This enables MARINET partners to offer periods of access to their facilities at no cost to users. Access is open to all potential users who wish to avail of these facilities – research groups, companies, SMEs etc. The aim of MARINET is to facilitate testing and to coordinate and advance marine renewables R&D at all scales - from small models and laboratory tests through to prototype scales and open sea tests. Through this EC funding, MARINET offers periods of access, at no cost to users, to test facilities which are located, outside the country where those users work.

DTOcean . This is an EU project coordinated by Edinburgh University with 18 partners from 11 countries (Ireland, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, France, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and United States of America) with the goal to develop open-source Optimal Design Tools for Ocean Energy Arrays aimed at accelerating the industrial development of ocean energy power generation knowledge, and providing design tools for deploying the first generation of wave and tidal energy converter arrays. Beaufort-HMRC is a partner in this project providing database support and technical input to all of the Work Packages.

IEC TC114 . Ireland has a mirror committee (TC18) and contributes experts to TC114 development of standards and guidelines in ocean energy. Ireland has expert participation in all of the Work Programmes except those related to OTEC.

IEA OES . Ireland contributes directly to IEA in terms of EXCO but has also been a key contributor to many of the collaborative annexes. 

International Smart Ocean Graduate Education Initiative . Ireland has a graduate programme co-funded by members of the SmartOcean group which has a mix of Irish and International entities. First round of PhDs started in 2013.

Lean Wind . The Beaufort-HMRC is also the co-ordinator of the European Commission funded FP7 Lean Wind project, designed to reduce costs of offshore wind technology and operations. Ireland, through HMRC, also participates in the European research network, EERA 

MERIKA (Marine Energy Research Innovation and Knowledge Accelerator) is an ambitious initiative by UHI (University of the Highlands and the Islands), located in Scotland and the UK’s outermost region. The project revolves around the concept of turning the UHI Faculty of Science, Health and Engineering into a reference research and innovation hub for all of Europe on the theme of marine energy. Funded by the EU Seventh Framework Programme, the MERIKA Project runs from 2014-2017. Prof. Mike Hartnett from the National University of Ireland, Galway is a partner in this project and will contribute to the networking and business development activities. Prof. Hartnett is a Co-PI within the SFI MaREI Centre.

OceaNet . This is a four year Initial Training Network funded under the European Commission FP7 Marie Curie programme coordinated by the WavEC in Portugal. The grant aid funds 12 early stage researchers (ESR) distributed around the 9 partners. Beaufort-HMRC is a partner and hosts one of the ESRs working with Prof. Tony Lewis towards a PhD in combined wind/ocean energy platform systems. 

ERC Proof of Concept Grant . This prestigious award has been made to Professor Frederic Dias, School of Mathematical Sciences, University College Dublin: Measuring ‘rogue waves’ in extreme sea conditions. The European Research Council - Proof-of-Concept grant is to support testing of a measurement system, combining research on the physics of extreme waves with the recent developments in buoy design, in order to optimise the new technology for waves of high amplitude and steepness. Commercial applications, if successful, would include marine renewable energies, shipping, marine forecasting, and ocean observation.