Plymouth wins marine-science grant

Plymouth has received a £24.3m package to help create jobs and businesses from science and innovation-related activities in marine renewables, engineering, marine science and other technologies.

This investment plan will build new facilities and transform the way research in the city is turned into commercial success.

The Plymouth Science and Innovation Programme (PSIP) has been created by a partnership led by the South West RDA (Regional Development Agency), Plymouth University and Plymouth City Council.

A new £18m marine building will be developed by Plymouth University on its city campus, housing research facilities including new wave-tank testing equipment.

This and other research will be supported by a new structure to be set up in the city to encourage innovation and enterprise and help turn research into business opportunities.

Centred on the Tamar Science Park it will provide incubation and support services to help fledgling companies with good ideas to thrive and grow.

Overall responsibility for coordinating the PSIP’s strategy and ensuring it is delivered will be taken by a newly created council, which will bring together stakeholders, education and research institutes, investors and innovative businesses.

The RDA previously announced £1.2m funding for the wave tank as part of the agency’s three-year £7.3m investment in the Peninsula Research Institute for Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE), led by the universities of Plymouth and Exeter.

The announcement coincided with the national launch of the Marine Investment Strategic Framework. The investment from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is part of £19.5m pledged to south-west England last summer to deliver the Low Carbon Economic Area initiative.

The package of regional and national funding for the Plymouth Science and Innovation Programme constitutes:

£7m from the South West RDA

£4m from BIS and DECC

£11.8m from the University of Plymouth

£1.5m from Plymouth City Council