By Kari Williamson
The Catapult Centre, which is expected to open in 2012, will receive up to £10 million per annum over five years from the Technology Strategy Board. The aim is to reinforce the UK's position as the global leader in offshore renewable energy by accelerating the development and market deployment of new renewable energy technologies.
The Catapult's Operational Centre will be based at the Narec Technology Park in Blyth, Northumberland.
Andrew Mill, CEO of Narec, says: “Narec was set up in 2003 to enable economic development through the commercialisation of offshore renewable energy technologies and is therefore well placed to support the growth of these sectors across the UK. The Catapult centre will provide national coordination of expertise and funding to fast track offshore wind, wave and tidal renewable technology development through to commercialisation, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“Projects will focus on reducing the cost of energy, accelerating market deployment and maximising the benefit to the UK economy. There will be close engagement with industry to ensure that they are aligned to key market needs, such as improving the reliability of energy generating devices that are expected to operate for many years in a harsh marine environment. We are looking across the entire supply chains of offshore wind, wave and tidal renewables to focus the programme on areas where there can be maximum benefit for UK business in support of government renewables policy."