Marine Centre Wales (MCW)
Marine Centre Wales (MCW) is a new national resource designed to meet the need for integration of research, innovation, commerce and policy in the marine sector. Located on the shore of the Menai Strait next to Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences it provides access to specialist facilities including conference and meeting rooms, offices, laboratories, aquaria and research vessels including the RV Prince Madog.
The challenges of blue growth, sustainable marine ecosystems, and climate change demand an overarching coordination and prioritisation of research, commercial opportunities, and policy through a strategy driven by societal needs. This requires a holistic understanding of opportunities, hazards, risks, and changes in the coastal and marine environment.
Interaction and Collaboration
Marine Centre Wales provides a forum for the development of research and innovation projects that not only exploit cutting edge science but are harmonised with environmental policy at local, regional, and European levels. It has been designed to facilitate interactions between researchers undertaking blue skies research, businesses requiring answers to specific and pressing research questions, and policy makers working on rapidly evolving legislation. MCW is dedicated to overcoming the silo culture among practitioners and stakeholders in past decades and to fostering the development of a joined-up marine community to address cross-sectoral and technology needs. This provides businesses with opportunities to answer specific research and commercial questions in the short term while planning future developments within a holistic strategic framework in the long term.
Marine Centre Wales brings together academic researchers, applied scientists, companies working on commercial projects, and policy makers tasked with optimising growth and sustainability. Academic researchers from the School of Ocean Sciences are based in the centre, together with the headquarters of the Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and Environment (NRN-LCEE), including the Quotient Cluster Quantification, Optimisation, and Environmental Impacts of Marine Renewable Energy http://www.nrn-lcee.ac.uk/quotient/index.php.en.
MCW is also the new home for the Centre for Applied Marine Sciences (CAMS) which has the mission to increase the impact of marine research, linking academic research to real-world applications. CAMS has 30 staff dedicated to specific projects, and link with over 100 researchers in the School of Ocean Sciences, one of the largest academic marine science centres in Europe. Close relationships with industry are core to our work in the energy sector, enabling research that meets industry needs and is rapidly applied to specific issues, working through a range of relationships including strategic programmes, collaborative research, contract research and consultancy. CAMS has been the headquarters for the ERDF-funded SEACAMS project.
Access for industry and external users
To help facilitate close collaboration, an membership scheme is being established, in which companies and other external users that are collaborating with staff and projects based in the Centre will have the opportunity to book space and facilities for occasional short-term use, helping businesses to connect with researchers and other members, and providing access to expertise and facilities. Details of the scheme will be announced later this summer, following ongoing consultations with potential users.