“Excellence in science and in its exploitation for the benefit of society requires excellent infrastructure,” said UCC President Dr Michael Murphy, at the recent opening of the €15m Beaufort Building in Ireland’s maritime quarter.
The 4,700sq m five-storey building with innovative wave simulators, test tanks, workshops and offices provides Ireland with world-class infrastructure for renewable energy and maritime research to power the ‘blue economy’.
Named after the Irish hydrographer and globally adopted Beaufort Wind Scale creator, Rear Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort, the Beaufort building will house the headquarters of the multi-institutional home to Marine Renewable Energy Ireland and the LIR National Ocean Test Facility.
“For decades, UCC has been a global leader in marine energy research. The Beaufort building now provides the world class infrastructure necessary to exploit that science to deliver technologies for society.
“Progress is driven through vision and creativity, and here we celebrate Francis Beaufort, the hydrographer from Meath.
“And we celebrate the genius of those who envisioned this marine centre of excellence in the Maritime Quarter of Ireland being realised through these wonderful new facilities – the best in the world,” he added.
Speaking at the opening, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “Our seas will increasingly support more jobs, enterprise and research. The UCC Beaufort Building, while firmly rooted on dry land, is a vessel of scientific discovery for our seas.
“Its world-class facilities will attract 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 and contracts with industry partners comprising of multinationals and SMEs.
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