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MARINERG-i shapes the future of offshore renewable energy testing facilities in Europe


With a network of world-class testing facilities spread across Europe, MARINERG-i is setting out to become the leading Distributed Research Infrastructure (DRI) in the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) sector globally.

Consortium partners of MARINERG-i gathered on 27-28 February 2024 in Ostend, Belgium to kick-off the exciting preparatory phase of the project, which will pave the way for establishing an integrated European Research Infrastructure. This is designed to facilitate the future growth and development of the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) sector. It is a key step in forming an independent legal entity of distributed testing infrastructures, united to create an integrated centre for delivering Offshore Renewable Energy.

The University of Ghent, one of the testing facilities in the MARINERG-i consortium, also took the opportunity of this gathering to organise a guided tour for partners and the EC project officer to visit the Coastal & Ocean Basin Ostend facility in Belgium. This newly built testing facility is designed to study the effect of waves and currents on coastal and offshore structures, as well as the generation of freak waves and the hydrodynamic and structural behaviour of devices for marine renewable energy.

By consolidating expertise, investment and access to infrastructure, the MARINERG-i Research Infrastructure will foster innovation across a variety of ORE technologies and stages of development. As the only integrated ORE platform of this scale worldwide, it will be the epicentre of this developing industry.


MARINERG-i is one of 11 new Research Infrastructures to be added to the ESFRI 2021 roadmap. This identifies and provides support to the best European science facilities that are of strategic importance according to the European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). Led by University College Cork, MARINERG-i is currently supported by Ireland, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with considerable support from facilities within France, Italy, Norway and Germany.


Ocean Energy Europe, joining the team as the dissemination coordinator, believes that MARINERG-i will provide significant support to the EU Green Deal, strengthening European scientific and engineering expertise and fostering innovation in ORE technologies. By consolidating investment in infrastructure, MARINERG-i will provide best-value for money. It will ensure the best quality service by harmonising methodologies and processes across facilities, providing clarity and confidence in testing results for investors and policymakers. Ultimately the goal is to help accelerate innovation in ORE and discern the leading technologies.


According to Dr. Jimmy Murphy (Project Coordinator, UCC), ‘A more streamlined, higher-quality service will enable newer technologies either to fail and disappear or to progress towards commercialisation.’


Participating research infrastructures have already worked together providing testing programmes to developers for over a decade e.g. on the EU funded MaRINET and MaRINET2 projects. MARINERG-i’s positioning on the ESFRI roadmap will enable the network to establish a permanent structure with country membership fees and providing a range of professional services, reducing the reliance on irregular sources of funding.


The team are now embarking on a Preparatory Phase, where work will be funded by an almost €3million Horizon Europe project – MARINERG-i_PP commencing in December 2023. This project will establish the legal, governance, scientific and business components required to set up a dedicated coordinating entity known as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), ready to implement MARINERG-i DRI services.


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MARINERG-i_PP has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe’s Research Infrastructures programme under grant agreement no. 101128668.