Scientists meet at Orkney Campus to discuss marine renewables

Orkney; where the first wave and tidal energy projects are being developed

Last week Heriot-Watt University's Orkney Campus was host to a meeting of over 50 Scottish marine scientists engaged in setting the research agenda in marine renewables, marine spatial planning and marine mapping.

The group brought together under the auspices of the MASTS and MREDS Scottish research pools spent three days in detailed discussions on the environmental research needs to support the emerging marine renewables sector, and associated governance of this under the new Marine Scotland Act.

The workshops were chaired by Professor Alan Miller, Heriot-Watt University Deputy Principal and Chair of the Marine Alliance for Science & Technology for Scotland (MASTS) Governing Council. MASTS pools the research talent, involving about 700 researchers, and the management of resources, comprising over £66 million annually, in marine science from the whole of Scotland.

He said "We are delighted that Heriot-Watt's Orkney Campus has organised and hosted these important discussions, and that we have been able to hold them in Orkney where the first wave and tidal energy developments are occurring, and so very pleased to have attracted such a wide participation from Scottish University researchers interested in pursuing these questions."

The workshops were organised by staff at ICIT who lead the MREDS (Marine Renewables Development in Scotland) research initiative.

Dr Kate Johnson, Research Associate at ICIT said: "A wide range of academic disciplines readily responded to this opportunity to share research experiences in the relevant marine sciences and governance.

"The meeting identified several research projects of importance to the emerging marine renewables industry and in particular how developments will interact with the marine environment, its ecology and other users of the sea."

A report of the workshop discussions and outcomes will be available shortly and will form the foundation for the development of new research projects and collaborations among the Scottish Universities.

Further information is available from Dr Kate Johnson at ICIT.