ITREZ - Scotland's future of Renewable Energy
The project: The International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone (ITREZ) is a ground-breaking research and development hub, bringing together business and academia to develop, innovate and invest in Scotland’s flourishing renewable energy sector. Based in the University of Strathclyde’s Technology & Innovation Centre (TIC) and in Scottish Enterprise’s ‘inovo’ Industry Engagement Building (IEB), the hub is purpose built to encourage collaborative project working and knowledge sharing.
The challenge: The Scottish Government has set ambitious targets for the country to produce the equivalent of 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2010, and reduce 80% of carbon emissions by 2050. With over 25% of Europe’s wind and tidal energy resource, and 10% of its wave resource, Scotland has incredible potential to produce huge amounts of clean and sustainable energy. ITREZ is uniting companies and academics in order to spearhead the growth of the renewable energy sector.
The purpose: ITREZ offers a unique opportunity to be part of a focussed industry-driven collective which offers premium facilities, expertise and funding. The hub allows industry, engineers, manufacturers, project managers, academics and researchers to work together more closely in creating innovative services and products which are essential for overcoming the technical challenges facing the growth of the offshore renewables sector.
The people and partners: The Innovation Zone comprises of ‘inovo’, funded by Scottish Enterprise, and the University of Strathclyde’s Technology & Innovation Centre. Together these state-of-the-art buildings provide a hub for 450 renewable engineers and project managers, as well as 850 energy academics and researchers. Companies already collaborating within ITREZ include CENSIS, Scottish Power Renewables, SSE Centre of Excellence and ORE Catapult.
The outcomes: The unique added value of ITREZ is the cross-disciplinary nature and intimate partnership between industry and academia. The hub offers professionals unrivalled test facilities, access to world-class academics and co-location with other renewables supply companies. Researchers collaborate using innovative approaches with multidisciplinary project teams, combining the university’s strengths in engineering, science, business and humanities. Some broad research themes at ITREZ include power and energy, advanced engineering, photonics, sensors and asset management.
The impact: Scotland is already seen to be leading the renewables industry, with an estimated 206 gigawatts of potential energy. The country has a rich industrial heritage, over forty years of experience working offshore and is now positioned to be a prime exporter of renewables throughout the world. Research and developments in renewable energy systems are vital in combatting world climate change and fossil fuel dependency. Paul Lewis (Managing Director Operations, Scottish Enterprise) considers ITREZ to be a “major opportunity for Scotland to put itself at the forefront of the green energy revolution”.
This case study was published in July 2015