A new marine renewables test centre has been created to boost Scotland's offshore ambitions.

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A new marine renewables test centre has been created to boost Scotland’s offshore ambitions.

The centre, located at the University of Dundee, is expected to become a leading facility for the development, design and testing of marine renewable construction materials and prototype foundations.

“Scotland is well placed to deliver offshore wind and marine renewables and meet its ambitious targets for 2020 but there are still some significant challenges to be addressed," said Professor Rod Jones, Head of the new Centre.

“Although considerable progress has been made in developing and manufacturing turbines, the main challenges now lie in the design, commissioning and deployment of key structural components such as concrete foundations for offshore wind farms.

“We have world-leading expertise at Dundee in the development of concrete technology and the modelling of novel foundation solutions. This new Centre will build on that and be integral to the provision of, demonstration and certification of marine materials and structures, which are particularly needed by industry if we are to successfully deploy the systems required to exploit Scotland’s natural resources in wind and marine energy.

“The renewables sector is one that has been predicted to create up to 40,000 jobs and £30billion of investment to the Scottish economy, as well as providing the country’s main energy solutions. This Centre will help realise those ambitious goals."

The creation of the Centre has been welcomed by Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism.

“The creation and launch of the Marine Renewables Test Centre located at the University of Dundee is a further demonstration of Scotland’s continued commitment to the development and future commercialisation of the marine renewables industry in Scotland," said Ewing. "The test centre in Dundee will complement the internationally recognised facilities provided by Flowave TT located at the University of Edinburgh and, of course, the world leading testing facilities offered at EMEC."

The £2M Centre is being supported by £833,000 funding newly announced by the European Regional Development Fund.
ERDF has also provided more than £160,000 to support the Offshore Renewables Institute, a major partnership between the Universities of Dundee, Aberdeen and Robert Gordon, which has a specific focus on marine policy and planning.