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EU-funded project to turbo-charge green energy research

By Michael McHugh

A cross-border EU-funded project will generate almost 60 years of renewable energy research, promoters said. The four-year scheme will be led by the Co Tyrone and Co Fermanagh-based South West College and aims to develop new products and processes for sale.

It will also facilitate access to advanced manufacturing equipment to ensure research can be delivered to a world-class standard.

The Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB) announced funding worth €5.8m (£4.9m), to be matched by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland. SEUPB chief executive officer Gina McIntyre said: "The region as a whole is adversely affected by low levels of research and innovation within certain business sectors.

"The Renewable Engine project will help to address this through the creation of a new cross-border collaborative partnership that will generate industry-relevant research. This research will prove invaluable for businesses working within the renewable energy sector in terms of increasing both their competitiveness and profitability."

Upon completion, the project aims to generate 57 years' worth of research developed at PhD level and above.

The SEUPB added: "This research will lead to commercial advantage for the participating businesses on both sides of the border."

Project partners involved within the creation of a "super cluster" include Queen's University in Belfast, the Institute of Technology in Sligo, the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, Manufacturing NI, Action Renewables and Mid Ulster District Council.

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