Partnership for Research In Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Plymouth
Department Name: Sch of Engineering

Abstract

The UK is currently at the forefront of the Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) sector, with almost 200 MW of installed capacity of wave and tidal stream projects, that are either operational, under construction or in development. Furthermore, the first floating offshore wind farm is being built off the coast of Scotland.

In order to realise the potential of MRE to achieve the targets set by the Government and keep the UK's leading position; the sector needs to address some relevant technical, environmental and interdisciplinary challenges. A coordinated response from different actors at national and regional level is required in order to successfully face these challenges. In an attempt to provide this coordination and with an initial focus on the South west of the UK, the Partnership for Research In Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) was established, bringing together research expertise and access to facilities for MRE developments.

PRIMaRE comprises the Universities of Plymouth, Exeter, Southampton, Bristol and Bath, along with the Marine Biological Association and Plymouth Marine Laboratory. Completing the line-up of PRIMaRE is the South West Marine Energy Park and the Wave Hub facilities, acting as conduits between the research community and industry. More recently, PRIMaRE has extended its borders both nationally and internationally by including the Universities of Uppsala, Cardiff and Cranfield as associated partners of PRIMaRE. The core partner institutions have signed up to a partnership agreement to work together on research across the spectrum of MRE and to establish a 'network of excellence' centred in the South of the UK. PRIMaRE has established the annual conference (now in its third year) to showcase the research and provide a forum for discussion with MRE industry and academia, and have organised industry oriented workshops to identify research priorities in order to align research efforts with the requirements of the MRE sector.

With the support of the EPSRC Network Grant, PRIMaRE aims to expand the partnership to a new level, making active and effective contributions to the challenges of the MRE sector. The Network brings together academic effort on MRE challenges, but also given the nascent state of the industry, aims to work closely with supply chain and industry partners, by providing training and a forum for sharing and exchange of ideas and through access to academic expertise and facilities. Unlike the academic focus of doctoral training schemes, the proposed network aspires to a broad sector approach, in which training and research collaborations are promoted both for conventional research and academic staff (i.e., post-docs, researchers, academics, PhD students) and for industry staff (developers, supply chain, test centres, regional government agencies). The proposed network has four main pillars of focus: (i) the annual PRIMaRE conference, expanded to become a key National and International event for the sector; (ii) the Key Challenge Workshops, an industry oriented dynamic and proactive forum to ensure alignment of PRIMaRE research priorities, and to focus on key emerging challenges requiring special attention; (iii) travel grants, which are crucial to ensure knowledge transfer and to promote the required mobility between academia and industry needed to develop new research collaborations nationally and internationally; and (iv) the PRIMaRE summer school, a continuing professional development (CPD) high level programme, providing the mechanism for exchange of knowledge between the research, academia, the novel MRE industry and wider sector.

Planned Impact

Regional networks such as The Partnership for Research In Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) can contribute actively to support the MRE sector to address challenges. The close relationship that regional networks have with local test facilities, government agencies, supply chain, industry, research and academia presents a major advantage enhancing the research actions towards tackling key challenges and generating real impact. This is of special relevance for the UK MRE sector, which has some well-defined regional nodes and a closer engagement of the sector at regional level will benefit primarily these nodes but also the wider national sector.

With the support of the EPSRC Network Grant, PRIMaRE aims to expand the partnership to a new level, making active and effective contributions to the challenges faced by the MRE sector. The Network brings together academic effort on MRE challenges, but also given the nascent state of the industry, aims to work closely with supply chain and industry partners, by providing training and a forum for sharing and exchange of ideas and through access to academic expertise and facilities. The network is novel in having a broad sector approach, in which training and research collaborations are promoted both for academic staff and for industry.

The network grant will help maximise the impact of PRIMaRE by fostering engagement with regional, UK wide and international MRE industry and supply chain. This engagement will lead to increased momentum around the MRE sector which will increase the knowledge exchange between academia to industry. This will help satisfy the training needs and define the technology breakthroughs needed for the sector to achieve sustainability. This will be achieved by: (i) engagement through the PRIMaRE conference; (ii) back-to-back engagement between industry and academia through the workshops; and (iii) increasing knowledge exchange between academia and industry through the summer schools.

The impact of the network members on the knowledge on MRE and offshore wind will be maximised with support of the network grant by providing opportunities for network members to meet and work together and by visiting and bringing key international researchers in order to develop links with world-leading institutions. This will facilitate access to key infrastructures to UK researchers and will foster new collaborations which will lead to the development of new ideas and transfer knowledge from academia to industry. This will be achieved by: (i) direct engagement with network partners and the regional sector; (ii) engagement with academics and wider UK and international sector; and (iii) engagement with key international research centres.

The network grant will contribute to maximise the impact that PRIMaRE has on the society by keeping an active presence on the web and social networks, by delivering leading edge research on MRE and delivering public engagement and outreach activities in order to engage the general public with science and the activities developed by the network partners. This will be achieved by: (i) dissemination, public engagement and outreach; and (ii) direct contact with end users and overall MRE community through the PRIMaRE website, social networks and the PRIMaRE network.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Research investigating the use of hybrid wave-wind energy conversion has been carried out and published.
Exploitation Route In developing hybrid wave energy integrated within offshore wind structures.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine

URL http://www.primare.org
 
Description The Partnership for Research In Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a partnership between five universities and two research institutes working together with industry in the south of the UK to address the research challenges faced by the MRE sector. The initial membership has agreed to work together and collaborate across the MRE sector, including wave, tidal stream, tidal range and offshore wind. The Network Grant will be used to move PRIMaRE forward expanding its model of collaboration and building momentum around its activities, creating a network that will expand and become self-sustainable in the future. The overall aim of PRIMaRE is to foster a multi-institutional world-class research cluster in all aspects of MRE, with the following objectives: • Consolidate and growth the network, focusing on knowledge sharing in a multilevel approach (i.e., post-docs, researchers, industry, academics, and PhD students) rather than just at a project or PhD student level. • Promote cross disciplinary research in MRE, fostering opportunities for researchers and industry to interact and work together, providing access to PRIMaRE partners' infrastructure to UK researchers and industry and coordinating research priorities and identifying new research needs with industry. • Consolidate the PRIMaRE conference, so it will expand to become a key National and International event for the sector, where industry and academia come together sharing research, technology developments and points of view on a close and compact forum. • Provide a forum for the UK MRE sector to discuss research priorities and development needs through Key Challenge Workshops and enhance collaboration between academia, supply chain and industry. • Foster knowledge exchange across industry and academia in MRE, by coordinating together with industry to align knowledge and training needs, developing new or adapting existing taught courses and training programmes, organising specific short courses or seminars, in those areas where knowledge gaps are identified, and running an industry oriented summer school. • Make PRIMaRE self-sufficient in the long-term
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Environment
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description Howey presentation EWTEC2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference presentation: Ben Howey, Keri Collins, Pedro Vicente, Rui Gomes, Violette Harnois, Martyn Hann, Gregorio Iglesias and Deborah Greaves, A Physical Mooring Comparison for a Floating OWC, EWTEC 2017, Cork.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description PRIMaRE Conference Bristol July 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The PRIMaRE Conference held at Bristol University in July 2018 with a good range of academic and industry speakers and an industry debate.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description PRIMaRE Conference July 2017 Southampton 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The PRIMaRE annual conference in July 2017 at the University of Southampton.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.primare.org
 
Description PRIMaRE Industry Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Industry workshop on wave energy hydrodynamics held alongside the PRIMaRE Conference in July 2018 at University of Bristol.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description PRIMaRE Summer School 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The PRIMaRE Summer School was held in collaboration with the UK-China ORE Research programme and organised by University of Plymouth and University of Exeter. The Summer School was attended by approximately 25 researchers from the UK and China.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018