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IDCORE students and Exeter staff at DMaC facility

Funding boost supports next generation of highly skilled scientists and engineers for offshore renewable energy industry

The University of Exeter’s role in developing the next generation of offshore renewable energy has received a significant boost, it has been announced.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has revealed 75 new Centres for Doctoral Training across the UK, as part of a £446 million investment in skills development.

These include the InDustrial CDT in Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE) – of which Exeter is a key partner alongside the Universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde, and the Scottish Association of Marine Sciences.

The IDCORE doctoral centre is designed to train world-class, industrially-focused researchers who will pioneer new approaches to integrating offshore renewable energy initiatives to meet the UK’s future ambitious energy targets.

These include the development of new offshore energy technologies, new materials and science for components, sub-systems and devices in the offshore environment, and the wider energy policy and regulation.

The new announcement will deliver funding for 50 students.

Professor Lars Johanning, IDCORE Co-Director and from the University of Exeter’s Renewable Energy department, based at the Penryn Campus in Cornwall, said: “IDCORE will enable to train the next generation of highly skilled scientists and engineers to deliver UK's ambitious renewable energy targets through development of new techniques and technologies for the offshore renewable energy industry.

“The unique structure offers students a learning experience combining both, academic experience in research, development and knowledge exchange, as well as strong integration into industry stakeholders in offshore renewable energy through a three year placement.”

At the launch of the new funding initiative, Science and Innovation Minister Chris Skidmore said: “As we explore new research to boost our economy with an increase of over £7 billion invested in R&D over five years to 2021/22 – the highest increase for over 40 years – we will need skilled people to turn ideas into inventions that can have a positive impact on our daily lives.

“The Centres for Doctoral Training at universities across the country will offer the next generation of PHD students the ability to get ahead of the curve. In addition, this has resulted in nearly £400 million being leveraged from industry partners. This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action, ensuring all corners of the UK thrive with the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow.

“As Science Minister, I’m delighted we’re making this massive investment in postgraduate students as part of our increased investment in R&D.”

IDCORE is now seeking applications for a September 2019 start and would welcome discussions with companies interested in sponsoring a project. Details can be found on our website 

Date: 4 February 2019