A £12.6m investment is intended to help the marine industry in Wales by increasing collaborative research projects between business and universities.
Bangor University’s Sustainable Expansion of the Applied Coastal and Marine Sectors (SEACAMS) project has been given the go-ahead following EU backing from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Assembly Government.
As part of the project, a new Innovation Centre will be set up at the university’s School of Ocean Sciences (SOS) at Menai Bridge in Anglesey. The centre will provide laboratory and computing facilities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
SMEs will also have access to SOS research ship Prince Madog to study the impact of climate change, such as coastal erosion, flooding, water quality and offshore energy generation.
Prof Colin Jago of the SOS at Bangor University said: ’Wales is strategically situated to exploit the rapid expansion of the offshore energy industry that is already taking place in the Irish Sea. It is imperative that we co-ordinate our research and business initiatives so that Wales plays a leading role in this industry. SEACAMS is an important component in that process.’
The project is led by Bangor University in collaboration with partners at Swansea and Aberystwyth universities who are also funding the project with further backing from the Countryside Council for Wales.