Name: Damian Collins – Merika Project Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Manager
Address: University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), Centre for Health Science, Old Perth Road, Inverness IV2 3JH
Phone: +44 (0)1463 279 586
Marine Energy Research Innovation and Knowledge Accelerator (MERIKA) was an ambitious initiative by the University of the Highlands and the Islands, located in Scotland and the UK’s outermost region. The project revolved around the concept of turning the UHI Faculty of Science, Health and Engineering into a reference research and innovation hub for all of Europe on the theme of marine energy. Funded by the EU Seventh Framework Programme, the MERIKA Project ran from 2014 to 2017.
The project relied on cooperation with seven high profile scientific institutions in Europe and was centred on two main blocks of activities. One intervened on capital (human and physical) and one built on capacity, especially in areas related to innovation and protection or exploitation of knowledge.
The first block consisted of: a comprehensive mobility programme with partnering organisations, a recruitment plan responding to precise needs for multidisciplinary competences to efficiently link different research strands, and a crucial upgrade in infrastructure, to enable the university to function as the reference European hub for marine energy research.
The capacity building component was geared towards a better use of complementary funds, the reinforcement of international collaboration and the definition of a coherent innovation policy to enhance the university’s potential in its cooperation with industry and other stakeholders.
European Union FP7 (REGPOT) programme
Co-ordinated by UHI who are headquartered in Inverness, however the focus is on Scotland and the UK’s outermost regions, where the marine renewable energy resource is located. Collaboration and active participation with EU research institutions has enabled strong, lasting links to be developed.
Help to raise the visibility of UHI as one of the most promising and leading research institutions in the field of marine energy in Europe.
The project activities undertaken by UHI Academic Partners conclude in March17 – the project period thereafter is for a series of evaluation activities
The project was a capacity building initiative, so the focus was not research, but building up infrastructure, science capability and research collaboration networks that could be taken forward upon completion of the project. There have been some research publications derived from MERIKA scientists (as per the link below), but the key outputs are the project collaborations that are emerging from the capacity building.
A list of publications from the MERIKA project can be found here.