Irish tidal research project steps closer to market

Illustration (Photo: flickr/Ilya Yakubovich)

Researcher from NUI Galway, Brian Ward, has been awarded funding to speed up the commercialization of his tidal energy research project.

The funding was granted for the development of an instrument to improve the characterization of turbulence at tidal energy site under the project titled ‘The Surface Ocean Autonomous Profiling Platform (SOAPP): Optimisation toward Commercial Potential’.

The goal of the project, led by Brian Ward, from the School of Physics at NUI Galway, is to assist the tidal renewable energy industry in optimizing turbine efficiency.

A total of €4.6 million has been awarded for 37 research projects under the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA), run in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland, out of which approximately €780,000 will go to eight NUI Galway research projects.

Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “Our research often leads to the development of a new or innovative technology, product, process or services. This funding will give these eight researchers the opportunity to demonstrate the technical feasibility of their idea and the commercial opportunities associated with their work. There is huge potential here for both economic and societal impact.”

The funding was announced by Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, who said: “As outlined in the Irish Government’s science strategy, Innovation 2020, we are committed to having one of the most highly skilled and innovative workforces in the world. With SFI-funded researchers receiving entrepreneurship training as part of these awards, we are helping to bring scientific and technological research to market.”

The SFI TIDA program is designed to enable researchers to focus on the initial stages of an applied research project, facilitating researchers with the opportunity to demonstrate the technical feasibility of their project, directed toward the development of a new or innovative technology, product, process or service that has potential for further commercial development.

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