The GREBE project is comprised of a consortium of eight partners from six countries, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Finland, Norway and Iceland.
In Ireland, we have the Western Development Commission (WDC), which is an independent state agency that is concerned with promoting the social and economic development in the Western Region (Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway and Clare). In promoting economic development, a major policy area of the WDC is energy infrastructure, particularly renewable energy. The WDC is working to ensure that the regions significant natural resources are used sustainably by renewable energy enterprises, providing jobs and bringing investment, as well as providing competitive local energy sources and keeping energy spending within our region and our country. The WDC will act as lead partner and is responsible for Work Package 1 Project Co-ordination and Work Package on Communications. The WDC will contribute to all the other work packages and are lead on Activity 3.2 on RE business support and funding mechanisms.
In Northern Ireland, we have two partners, Action Renewables which is the leading authority on renewable energy in Northern Ireland. The company is a not for profit organisation, and is highly regarded as being impartial and independent. The company is also highly regarded for its level of expertise in all energy related matters, but with a deep understanding of communities and experience of projects functioning in other EU regions. Although it is a small company with just 15 full time staff, the company has expertise in all forms of energy efficiency, climate change issues, CO2 emission reduction, renewable energy, financing issues, community groups and regions within the NPA area. Action Renewables has worked with both the public and private sectors, and understands how disparate they both are and has the necessary expertise to manage the triple helix type partnership with the unique issues that can bring. Action Renewables are lead on Work Package 3.
Also in Northern Ireland, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council (FODC) are a partner. They provide many services to the communities of Fermanagh and Omagh including but not limited to Business & Community Support; Environmental Health; Building Control; Sport & Leisure; Arts & Culture; Facilities Management (inc. waste and refuge collection). The Council funds the provision of such services to the local community through the collection of rates payments. Rates are payable by householders and business owners based within the Counties of Fermanagh and Omagh. Our knowledge of the business sector in this area is vast and our contacts within this sector will ensure that the RE business mentoring / entrepreneurship enabler scheme in Work Package 6 will have maximum impact in terms of supporting the long term viability of SMEs and start-ups in Northern Ireland.
In Scotland, the Environmental Research Institute in North Highland College are a partner. They are situated in Thurso, on the shores of the dynamic waters of the Pentland Firth. The main aim of the ERI is to address contemporary environmental issues and advance understanding of the sustainable use of the Earth’s natural resources. We aspire to excellence in all that we do and to provide dynamic leadership and education. The ERI has successfully exploited its geographic advantage to play a dynamic and leading role in the development of research and educational provision in support of the renewable energy sector and in particular the emergent marine energy sector. ERI wishes to leave a legacy of open source research and development to improve lives and socio economics of the Highlands and Islands. This will give the project a strong regional presence in the renewable energy sector. This expertise identified will allow ERI to effectively lead Work Package 5 and undertake a substantial amount of the work in WP2.
In Finland, we also have two partners. The Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) is a research and expert organisation. The institute promotes bioeconomy and sustainable use of natural resources. LUKE is an exceptionally cross-disciplinary research institute, aggregating broad expertise and research competence to support the sustainable use of natural resources. The goal of LUKE is to reinforce research and expertise in food and renewable natural resources to build the bioeconomy of the future and the well-being based on it. LUKE contributes to forest and wood-based renewable energy sectors in Europe through scientific research, research forests, laboratory activities, communication and information services, training/teaching, international activities, and support services, e.g. business development, promotion and technology transfer. Within GREBE, LUKE will be responsible for WP7 on “Knowledge & Technology Transfer & Business Delivery” with the exchange of experiences and knowledge in the renewable energy field including delivery & dissemination of successful and established business models.
Also in Finland, we have the Karelia University of Applied Sciences as a partner. Karelia UAS provides broad-based, high-level and internationally competitive higher education for the needs of the changing regional and national industry, commerce and other working life. Karelia UAS develops and offers R&D services of high quality in order to enhance regional development and support the industry and other areas of working life, especially in North Karelia and Eastern Finland. Karelia UAS has also developed renewable energy and energy efficiency business models and is interested in increasing expertise in this field. In this project, the expertise of renewable energy (energy and environmental technology) and the business and economics is integrated, especially for identifying and developing the business models and growth entrepreneurship across the NPA region. Karelia UAS are lead on Work Package 6.
In Norway, Narvik Science Park (NSP) are a partner. NSP established in 2000 is an non profit making body that is committed to development of new business from technological research, and are specialists in technological innovation, business development and in commersialization of research results. Their target areas are the Arctic Technology/Cold Climate, Environmental Technology and Renewable energy, and they provide services such as R&D Incubators, Technological innovation programs and Technology Transfer. NSP provides all the necessary assistance and facilities for new business enterprises in for instance renewable energy, hydropower and the PV industry, NSP are specialists in business development, commersialization of research results and technological innovation in renewable energy. NSP are lead on Work Package 4.
Our Icelandic partner is the Innovation Center Iceland (ICI). The main emphasis of ICI is to promote additional knowledge, expertise and general development of the Icelandic economy through innovation, technological development, research and knowledge transferrin a chosen areas e.g. in renewable energy and business development. ICI offers a free of charge counselling on various issues that may arise with entrepreneurship and businesses. ICI offers a variety of courses in the fields of management, innovation and service provision. Online courses are also offered free of charge to all customers. ICI will contribute to all work package, particularly work package 4 with NSP and work package 6 on business development and mentoring.