Kildare's Maynooth University ocean energy project among €13.5m US-Ireland research awards 

Wave energy

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Kildare's Maynooth University ocean energy project among €13.5m US-Ireland research awards 

Maynooth University

The Maynooth University ocean energy project has been announced as one of seven recipients of the €13.5m US-Ireland research awards.

A joint investment of €13.5 million was announced on St Patrick’s Day through a tripartite research and development partnership between the United States of America, Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland.

The seven funding awards announced will support more than 60 research positions across 14 research institutions, for three to five years, including an innovative ocean energy project at Maynooth University Centre for Ocean Energy Research.

Dr Oliver Mason, of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, in collaboration with Prof John Ringwood, of the Department of Electronic Engineering, will partner with Queen’s University Belfast (NI) and Iowa State University (US) to investigate new ways of improving the efficiency of arrays or farms of Wave Energy Converters (WECs). 

The project, which was awarded €399,653 in funding, will focus on how the size and shape of individual WECs, and different control strategies, can be designed to optimise the performance of the array in harvesting energy from ocean waves. 

The US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership, launched in July 2006, is a unique initiative that aims to increase the level of collaborative research and development (R&D) amongst researchers and industry professionals across the three jurisdictions. 

The programme involves multiple funding partners across the three jurisdictions, working together collaboratively to support the most excellent and impactful research. The funding agencies involved in the awards being announced today are Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Health Research Board (HRB) in the Republic of Ireland; the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA, and the Health & Social Care R&D Division (HSC R&D) and the Department for the Economy (DfE) in Northern Ireland.

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “The US-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme continues to support and encourage strong collaborative relationships between our countries. It recognises and highlights Ireland’s significant scientific standing internationally and the societal and economic benefits that can be realised when we work beyond our borders. I wish all of the partners every success in this important collaboration.”

HRB Chief Executive, Dr Mairéad O'Driscoll said: “Health research makes a real difference to people’s lives. We’ve seen how the recent pandemic has sparked huge public interest in both health and research. The HRB plays an essential role in advancing research, and is committed to supporting highly innovative international collaboration through the US-Ireland R&D Programme. I welcome the announcement of these new awards, which will generate health benefits in Ireland and internationally.”

Dr Janice Bailie, Assistant Director, Health and Social Care (HSC) Research and Development, Northern Ireland, said: “More than ever, we can see the immense value of international research collaboration, as supported by the US Ireland R&D Programme. This bringing together of researchers from across Ireland and the US is strengthening knowledge transfer and improving health outcomes with global impact.”