Marine Renewable Energy Knowledge Exchange Programme

NERC funded the Marine Renewable Energy Knowledge Exchange Programme (MREKEP) to catalyse the development of partnerships between the academic research base and industry, as well as regulators and policymakers, to accelerate the uptake of research to inform the sector.

The programme focused on developing existing NERC research and science capabilities to understand the potential impact of wave, wind and tidal technologies on the ecology and hydrodynamics of the marine environment, as well as facilitating development of innovative technologies and tools for environmental characterisation and monitoring.

It had five focus areas:

  • Uncertainty and risk.
  • Cumulative impact assessment.
  • Underwater noise.
  • Cost effective monitoring.
  • Data access and management.

In follow on to the Marine Renewable Energy Knowledge Exchange Programme, NERC held an innovation workshop on environmental and consenting barriers in developing floating wind farms in conjunction with the Carbon Trust - external link, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult - external link and ARUP - external link in May 2016. The report from this workshop can be found below.

Environmental and consenting barriers to developing floating wind farms including innovative solutions (PDF, 2.9MB)

The programme has two principal strands of work aimed at building a sustainable future for the offshore renewable energy sector.

Firstly, it is facilitating development of stronger partnerships between the academic, public, private and third sector organisations by:

  • Improving government and industry access to the science and innovation base.
  • Improving coordination of research and innovation between government, industry and the research community.
  • Developing collaborative R&D partnerships.
  • Showcasing UK expertise in national and international forums.

Secondly, the programme aims to serve the needs of the offshore energy sector by:

  • Facilitating the application, adaptation and creation of research products and services.
  • Accelerating the uptake of NERC-funded research and data by relevant businesses and policymakers.
  • Providing a conduit for obtaining information and feedback from research end users to inform NERC's future science strategy and research programme objectives.

Outputs and outcomes from knowledge exchange activities are provided below; more will be added as further pieces of work are completed.

Horizon scanning

The programme also provides a service to the sector by supplying information on news, events, research and testing, and funding opportunities. Horizon scanned news articles and signposting to data sources are made available through the Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy Research - external link - . Other information and alerts are provided through Twitter and by email - you can follow @MREKEP on Twitter - external link - or contact the team directly at for information or to sign up for messages.


April 2011 - March 2015


£1·5 million.


The programme facilitated and supported knowledge exchange activities and projects to help address priority issues for the sector. Such projects were proposed by and developed with members of the community through a well defined process and reviewed by the project manager and an independent external reviewer to ensure the project aims aligned with the programme, achieve value for money and were likely to generate a significant impact.

Programme Advisory Group (PAG)

The programme is advised by a group of sector stakeholders including energy companies, regulatory bodies and academics. The group meets twice each year and its role is to oversee and advise on the programme's strategic direction. The group provides advice on proposed priorities and activities to help ensure the programme meets its goals, remains focused upon its objectives, and delivers high-quality, added-value outputs.

Programme Management Team

The day-to-day management of the programme is carried out by a Programme Management Team. The team comprises of members of NOC and NERC Swindon Office staff:

  • NERC Swindon Office
    • Sally Reid (programme manager)
  • Knowledge Exchange Programme Team (NOC)
    • Paul Bell (academic lead)
    • Annie Linley (programme manager)
    • Eleanor Ashton (programme administrator)


Eleanor Ashton
National Oceanography Centre

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