An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. opened UCC Beaufort Maritime and Energy Research Laboratory Building in Cork at the weekend. The 4,700m² building, which was constructed by JJ Rhatigan & Company, will house the largest dedicated team of marine research globally. Speaking at the opening ceremony, An Taoiseach said: “Marine research and development is a part of this Government’s plan to rebuild a sustainable enterprise-based economy. Our seas will increasingly support more jobs, enterprise and research. The UCC Beaufort Building, while firmly rooted on dry land, is a vessel of scientific discovery for our seas. Its world-class facilities will attract world-class researchers and new entrepreneurial endeavours in the maritime and energy sectors. The spirit of collaboration between academia, private enterprise and the Irish Naval Service in Irish maritime research is a model for public-private partnerships not only in Ireland, but globally.”
Professsor Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, Director of MaREI, said the centre will cater for 135 researchers, industry partners and support staff, dedicated to solving the challenges related to marine renewable energy, the multi-disciplinary centre has already secured €30 million in funding through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and contracts with industry partners comprising of multinationals and SMEs.
Led by UCC Capital Projects Officer Niall McAuliffe, the project employed more than 200 people on site. The Beaufort Building was conceived, designed and constructed to the highest quality sustainable standards, consistent with the function of the building as a world class centre for maritime and energy research. Designed to resemble a naturally eroded cliff face with incredible sea views, the building, on Cork Harbour, makes an L-shaped form with a tall research block and entrance stacked to the sea and a large tank hall with testing facilities behind it. JJ Rhatigan & Company worked in collaboration with UCC, McCullough Mulvin, ARUP, JJ Casey and RPS to deliver this world-class facility.