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Green light for GBP 89m Glasgow TIC as countdown to global wind event begins

Scotland state-of-the-art technology and innovation centre to be a focus of Big Switch offshore wind event

The TIC will be build in Glasgow, which will host BigSwitch Offshore Wind
The TIC will be build in Glasgow. The city will host BigSwitch Offshore Wind, a global event that aims to advance technological developments across the global offshore wind industry

Plans to develop a world-class research and technology centre in Scotland, which is set to be a focus of a major global offshore wind energy event, have been given the go-ahead.

The Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC), which is due to open for business in Glasgow in 2014, will bring together academics and partners from industry and business – from across the international scene - to develop solutions to challenges, which are central to economic regeneration and to address key technological challenges faced by society.

Set to become the leading renewable research centre in the UK, the TIC aims to revolutionise the way researchers in academia and industry collaborate and innovate together, including across the global offshore wind energy. With 850 researchers, engineers and project managers from across academia and industry working side by side, it aims to give companies new levels of access to world-class research and development.

The centre will be a focus in the programme of a major offshore wind event happening in June called BigSwitch Offshore Wind. The event, which is hosted by Strathclyde University, aims to advance further technological developments in the global offshore wind industry.

Event Chairman Professor Jim McDonald, principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: “This is a very opportune moment for such a high profile international offshore renewable energy conference to come to Glasgow. Strathclyde University’s strategic commitment as a leading international technological university has been central to the positioning of Glasgow as a global hub for innovation and research in offshore renewable energy and power engineering more generally. We are delighted that Strathclyde University will play host to the conference.”

Of the TIC, McDonald said: “This news marks an important milestone in a development which will reinforce our position as a leading international technological university, attract major inward investment to the city, create jobs and help businesses compete on the world stage. This will also enhance the educational experience and opportunities for our undergraduate and postgraduate students.”

The centre will be the first of its kind in Europe and will become the cornerstone of the International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone (ITREZ) – Scotland’s hub for global green energy developments.

The planning permission announcement also follows the UK Government revealing that the University of Strathclyde is to play a key role in a multi-million pound initiative to stimulate development and commercialisation of new offshore wind, tidal and wave power technologies.

The Offshore Renewable Energy ‘Catapult’ Centre, announced at the University by the Rt Hon Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, will see £50 million invested over the next five years. The Catapult will create a critical mass of activity and will link the University to a wide range of industrial partners and other research organisations to benefit the offshore renewable energy sector.

Developed with industry, for industry, TIC has already attracted major international partners including SSE, ScottishPower and the Weir Group, alongside funding from Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council.

“Our approach is already revolutionising the way researchers in academia and industry collaborate and innovate together,” McDonald said. “The Technology and Innovation Centre will be a tangible sign of that commitment, enabling our world-class researchers to work side-by-side with colleagues from business and industry. With our key TIC partners including SSE, ScottishPower and the Weir Group, and University-wide industry partners including Babcock, Rolls-Royce, EDF and Gamesa, the University of Strathclyde stands at the intersection of research, industry and academia.”