South East Asia to get a marine energy centre

Dr Alan Owen (Image: RGU)

Researchers at Robert Gordon University (RGU) have won GBP 165,760 in funding from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Prosperity Fund to support the establishment of a South East Asia Marine Energy Centre (SEAMEC) in Indonesia.

Through SEAMEC, which has the support of both industry and academia, the project looks to create a multinational, multi-stakeholder platform to drive policy and capacity building within the region as part of a long-term, comprehensive marine renewable energy programme within South East Asia.

Dr Alan Owen and Dr Leuserina Garniati from the university’s Centre for Understanding Sustainability in Practice (CUSP) worked with UK and Indonesian academic, business, and NGO partners to secure the funding.

Owen said: “The establishment of a marine energy centre in South East Asia will be a huge boost towards accelerating the development of an internationally connected, sustainable and commercially viable marine energy industry across the region.

“I would point towards the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney as an example of the kind of model we are trying to create in South East Asia, but with the emphasis on capacity building, socio-economic outputs and developing policy and strategy rather than technical outputs.”

Garniati added: “We also hope that SEAMEC will play a significant role in opening up knowledge exchange between renewable energy expertise in the northern and southern hemispheres to identify new materials, methods and fabrication processes appropriate for a very different marine environment.

“Given the many and varied challenges posed by extending marine energy technologies into the region and the huge untapped marine energy potential therein, SEAMEC is a necessary platform to ensure equal opportunity in collaborating with business, academia and governments in one of the most economically exciting regions of the world.”

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