MATRIX, the Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel, has announced that the Global Maritime Alliance (GMA) has secured its first technology client.
In June the GMA was regarded by MATRIX as having the potential to be a formidable Industry-led Innovation Community (IIC) as part of a £630,000 collaboration project to help local companies exploit opportunities in the global marine energy sector.
Minesto, a spin-off of the Saab group, has chosen Northern Ireland as its UK operational testing base for their new tidal technology, which has been devised by the company as part of plans to develop a new type of tidal power plant called the ‘Deep Green’.
Minesto’s decision to locate in Northern Ireland followed an ongoing relationship with Invest NI, who has been proactively working to in the renewables sector for a number of years.
At a Tendering Workshop with members of the Global Maritime Alliance, Minesto explored the potential services GMA could offer to further develop the ‘Deep Green’ technology.
Damien McDonnell, chairman of MATRIX, said: “Minesto’s decision to use Northern Ireland as its operational testing base is an exciting development for the Global Maritime Alliance. Local companies will have the opportunity to deliver a wide range of support services required to help develop the Deep Green technology.”
Minesto will work with the Global Maritime Alliance over the next 18 months to test this new tidal technology.
Anders Jansson, Minesto CEO, said: “Northern Ireland has the natural resources we need in terms of the depths of water and suitable geographic locations to install our technology.
“Northern Ireland also has a strong academia base and it is heavily involved with marine renewable energy, which is a key developer in this industry. The Global Maritime Alliance is a valuable partner for us and we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Clifford McSpadden CEO of CMS Global Ltd and Chairman of the GMA said: “Northern Ireland has the breadth and depth of experience to help Minesto succeed with their development. We are delighted that Minesto wish to test their tidal device in Northern Ireland waters and we know that this is because of our exceptional natural resources, as well as our academic and industrial expertise in this area.
“This is the first technology development client for the newly launched GMA and we are confident that many more will follow.”
Supported by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and facilitated by the Collaborative Network Programme in Invest Northern Ireland, the Global Maritime Alliance brings together the unique skills and capabilities of local companies and universities so they can take advantage of opportunities in the emerging marine energy markets across the UK and Republic of Ireland, with the potential for global expansion.
Niall Casey, Invest NI said: “Collaboration is an essential tool for local companies seeking to share skills and knowledge in order to enhance their competitiveness. The experience gained will give these companies increased confidence and ability to exploit new business within the lucrative marine energy sector.”