FAQ’s

MaREI is a world-leading Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine, coordinated by the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at University College Cork. The Centre has over 250 researchers across 13 partner institutes in Ireland working with 75 industry partners focusing on the energy transition, climate action and the blue economy.  Our research aims to address major challenges facing society like climate change, dwindling fossil fuel supplies, and sustainable development. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Climate & Energy

Question Answer
What is climate change? Climate change is the long-term alteration of temperature and typical weather patterns in a place. Climate change could refer to a particular location or the planet as a whole.
What is the importance of Climate action?

Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow. People are experiencing the significant impacts of climate change, which include changing weather patterns, rising sea level, and more extreme weather events. The greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are driving climate change and continue to rise. They are now at their highest levels in history. Without action, the world’s average surface temperature is projected to rise over the 21st century and is likely to surpass 3 degrees Celsius this century—with some areas of the world expected to warm even more. The poorest and most vulnerable people are being affected the most.

For more information on climate change visit the sites below:

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is energy that can be harnessed from natural sources such as the sun, the wind and the earth. Examples of renewable energy are listed below

  • Solar Energy: This type of renewable energy captures rays from the sun using equipment containing photovoltaic cells and turns it into energy.
  • Wind Energy: Wind energy captures the power of the wind using devices, usually wind turbines, and transforms it into energy.
  • Geothermal Energy: This is the energy that can comes from within the earths crust in the form of Magma. This magma can be used to create energy, using steam and also heat. In Iceland this is a common form of renewable energy.
  • Biomass Energy: Biomass energy comes from naturally components such as plant matter. This biomass energy can be converted to energy through burning and can also be turned into a substitute for gasoline and petrol.
  • Tidal Energy: This refers to the energy contained in a tide flowing in or out of an estuary or similar enclosed place, especially that part of the energy that can be converted to electricity.

What is the energy transition? Energy transition refers to the global energy sector’s shift from fossil-based systems of energy production and consumption — including oil, natural gas and coal — to renewable energy sources like wind and solar, as well as lithium-ion batteries. The increasing penetration of renewable energy into the energy supply mix, the onset of electrification and improvements in energy storage are all key drivers of the energy transition.
What is the importance of Renewable energy?

In today’s world renewable energy has never been more important. The use of fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas are no only bad for the environment, causing climate change and global warming but are also finite resources. The research and use of renewable energies ensures we work towards a better and more sustainable future.

In what capacity does MaREI assist with the energy transition?

In order to move towards a climate neutral future MaREI works in a verity of ways that move us towards this.

MaREI has established itself as a leader in research and innovation to support the energy transition. We are providing solutions to fundamental issues and supporting technological advancement across the supply chains for resources such as offshore renewable energy and bioenergy, which will be key to Ireland’s energy transition.

We are also identifying viable routes and vectors for the integration of these resources across the energy system, and are supporting the implementation of demand side efficiencies and measures to better match supply and demand. We are furthermore providing support in areas such as ICT, data analytics, materials and components, and advanced observation and monitoring technologies and techniques, and are delivering critical enabling necessary reductions in the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE).

What examples do we have of Climate and Energy Projects?

MaREI works on Projects related to the three main areas of climate change research, namely: The Blue Economy, Energy Transition and Climate Action.

To view a list of these projects follow the links below.

Blue Economy Projects list
Energy Transition Projects list
Climate Action Projects list

Marine: Blue Economy

Question Answer
What is ‘the blue economy’? The blue economy is an approach put forward by the international community to take into account the health of the oceans and seas as we strive to balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental.  Our blue economy research in MaREI strives to better understand and sustainably utilise the potential of our significant marine and coastal resources.
What are MaREI’s research objectives for the blue economy?

MaREI has three research objectives in this area;

  • Supporting the sustainable development of the Blue Economy
  • Build the framework and tools to facilitate improved understanding and management of coastal and marine areas
  • Assess and develop both the scientific and societal indicators of a Healthy Marine Ecosystem and characterise the potential impacts of anthropogenic activities on ecosystem health

See more here 

Why is research of the blue economy important? In order to protect our oceans and sustainably capitalise upon the potential of our marine resources, it is necessary to improve our understanding of the extent of these resources, the approaches required to access them, the associated societal and economic constraints, and the potential impact on the marine environment.
Do MaREI research projects on the marine actively engage with their stakeholders? We engage with a wide range of stakeholders across multiple sectors on issues regarding the planning, management, sustainable use and protection of our marine resources in the context of increasing pressure on our maritime space and resources and the impact of climate change.
What research projects do MaREI carry out for the blue economy?

MaREI has achieved significant success in EU and national funding programmes, which facilitates our cooperation with numerous partners from industry, academia and government across 31 countries.

For a full list of all MaREI blue economy research projects please visit here

What is tidal energy?

Renewable energy is energy that is replenished by nature so that it can be used over and over again. Tidal energy is produced by the surge of ocean waters during the rise and fall of the tides.

What are MaREI’s underlying areas of expertise within the blue economy? Offshore renewable energy, coastal and marine systems, observation and operations, materials and structures
What are Marine and Coastal Systems? Coastal & Marine Systems are the most dynamic on Earth. They are fluid and are continuously shaped by natural processes and human intervention and, as a consequence, are very complex systems to interpret, understand and manage. They support an unknown number of organisms, are a source of vast biological, mineral, food and energy resources and provide a conduit for international trade. The majority of the world’s population lives on the coast and, in addition to housing, it supports significant infrastructure for industry, tourism and transport.
What is the importance of Marine and Coastal Systems? Our marine and coastal environments also provide a range of other ecosystems services such as regulation of climate; cultural uses and supporting services like biodiversity and habitats. These interconnected systems are, therefore, hugely important economically, socially and environmentally and the Coastal & Marine Systems Thematic Group has significant experience in conducting research in, and synergising outputs from, these fields. 
What threats face marine life?

Human influence on the ocean is the biggest threat to ocean health.

Marine plants are responsible for 50% of our oxygen, and the oceans intake of carbon dioxide is one element that slows down climate change, therefore, the sea and marine systems are extremely important, and the nation needs to become more environmentally aware, protecting marine and coastal systems.

See the below animation which shows what would happen if we lost the sea.

See this animation below where you can see just how big of an impact our litter has on marine and coastal systems. 

Careers

Question Answer
 How can I start my career with MaREI?

As a growing research centre, job and internship opportunities often arise within MaREI. These can be in the research, administrative and management fields.

For our current career opportunities click here 

PhD Opportunities

Question Answer
 What PhD opportunities is there at MaREI?

A wide range of supervised research positions are available across all of our partner institutions, in the areas of the Energy Transition, Climate Action, and the Blue Economy. These studentships can take the form of Masters or PhD programmes, and are assessed by the submission of a thesis at the end of the studentship.

For more information click here

Where will I be based when carrying out my studentship?

As a MaREI PhD or Masters student, you will be based in one of our partner institutions around the country. You will be a registered student in that institution as well as being a valuable part of the larger MaREI research community.

What can be expected of me as a student within MaREI ?

Your respective institution will provide you with everything you need to carry out your research fully, and as a key player in the larger MaREI community you will have the unique opportunity to nurture and strengthen your professional network as you progress through your research career.

To find out more click here

Education

Question Answer
How does MaREI engage with the public? Our public engagement programme includes outreach activities such as festivals and events, and engaged research projects in which we collaborate directly with communities and other stakeholders.  

For more information click here 

How does MaREI engage with schools?

Our education and outreach activities for schools and youth groups include our Ocean Devotion workshops, mentoring, and our involvement in the STEAM Ed programme.

Find out more and see our resources here 

Are there any higher education opportunities within MaREI?

In higher-level education MaREI supports over 50 PhD candidates in diverse research areas across the Centre and contributes to a number of Masters programmes.  MaREI students can avail of industry internships, international student exchange programmes, and transferrable skills training in commercialisation, entrepreneurship, communication and public engagement.

For more information click here

Where can I learn more about the environment or the research MaREI does?

MaREI has a lot of educational resources listed on the website.

Click here to find them and learn all about the work that MaREI does

And you can find more resources here

Engagement

Question Answer
Does MaREI interact and engage with society? 

Our researchers have considerable experience in stakeholder engagement at local, national and transboundary scales, working with NGOs, industry, government departments, local authorities, policy makers and community groups through their research projects and engagement work. The Governance and Public Engagement teams within MaREI are at the forefront of facilitating active participation, engagement and stakeholder dialogue for mutual benefit, and communicating science to enable informed decision making.  We engage with a diverse range of stakeholders and utilise a variety of engagement methodologies and communication tools, continuously evolving our approach to enable greater participation of diverse actors.

To read more about our engaged research projects click here

Entrepreuneurship

Question Answer
What sectors does MaREI focus on in entrepreneurship?

MaREI is concerned with the facilitation and support of all Entrepreneurial and Innovation activities across our research areas;

How does MaREI work with Entrepreneurs?

MaREI facilitates and supports the entrepreneurship and innovation activities of everyone associated with MaREI and our areas of interest. This includes our industry partners, research community, students and start-ups.

  • Through our Start-up Program The Entrepreneurship. Follow the link for details
  • We run innovation events to foster learning and collaboration. See our events section: Here
  • We connect researchers and start-ups to encourage knowledge transfer ensure entrepreneurs have the most pertinent information.

What is the Entrepreneur Ship?  The Entrepreneur Ship is an on-site innovation and office space facility available to a select number of eligible businesses.
Some key features:

  • €50,000 in non-equity bearing funding over a 2-year period
  • Access to a wide range of additional ESA funding mechanisms
  • Access to business support services
  • Shared and own office options

Fully serviced accommodation with all costs included in the monthly fee

What examples do you have of successful businesses? Example 1: Raceix is and early stage marine technology company that is set to revolutionize the boating sector using space technology. Raceix provides clear, current, navigational data that is easy to use with information that can enrich the boating experience on top.
Raceix were the first Irish Marine business to participate on the Enterprise Ireland Marine Mentor Programme – an Enterprise Ireland initiative in partnership with the MaREI National Marine Incubation Manager.Read more about Raceix in this Irish Times article. Example 2: ARQ Asset Solutions is an engineering asset management business with a particular focus on lubricant management.
They are an Enterprise Ireland Client business since 2018, having secured Competitive Start Funding. Later that year they won the New Start Category in Munster in the Intertrade Ireland Seedcorn Competition.Read more about AQR in this piece in the Irish Examiner.See our past projects: Here

See our ongoing projects: Here

Who can I contact to find out more? Liam Fitzgerald is the Marine Incubation Manager
Contact
Email: liam.fitzgerald@ucc.ie
Phone: 086 8582413