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NSRI strengthens board to meet demands of diverse energy mix

The National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI) has elected two new board members as it looks to expand its capabilities in the growing renewables, mining, defence and aquaculture sectors.

Following a strategic review, NSRI identified the need to restructure in order to reflect the global energy transition. Although still heavily focused on the oil and gas market, the organisation will be looking to enhance its offerings to better support other offshore sectors.

Simon Cheeseman, of the ORE Catapult and Claus Hjoerringgaard of Wood Clean Energy have joined the board of NSRI to support the organisation’s plans to support UK companies break into multiple energy markets.

A former marine engineer, Mr Cheeseman joined the ORE Catapult in February 2014. He is responsible for managing the organisation’s marine renewables strategy, identifying the wave and tidal technology innovation needs. Previously, he worked with the Energy Technologies Institute, where he was marine programme manager for a range of high profile wave and tidal development projects.

Mr Hjoerringgaard, currently managing director of Wood Clean Energy brings more than 25 years of experience having been involved in all aspects of commercial, technical and legal issues within the energy sector. Prior to joining Wood Clean Energy, he held a number of senior roles at Mott MacDonald, heading up its renewable and power distribution divisions.

As the focal point for research and development activities in the UK subsea industry, NSRI has evolved over the past five years, widening its remit to support the growing opportunities in the wider subsea and marine sectors.

Under the leadership of NSRI chairman, Peter Blake, the newly elected board members will ensure the organisation continues to foster strong links with the UK supply chain and academia to address the technology needs of the current and future energy mix.

Mr Blake, commented: “The energy industry is in constant motion and in order to support the sector’s demands, advances in technology must keep up. It’s vital that the UK supply chain is aware of the opportunities, and in turn develops suitable and cost-effective solutions.

“NSRI operates across various levels of technology readiness, from proof of concept through to commercial implementation. As an industry-led and industry-driven organisation, our research and development activities are focused on solving real global challenges, identified by industry to overcome present and future technological challenges.

“With our new board in place, our main focus for 2018 is to ensure that we continue to help companies and developers overcome the barriers of diversification to make their mark in the wider offshore sector. While oil and gas is likely to hold strong and dominate the global energy supply for years to come, subsea companies also need to look at how they can adapt and expand their presence across multiple markets.”

Tony Laing, director of research and market acceleration at NSRI, added: “The common core engineering themes, challenges and opportunities across the wider subsea and marine sectors is astonishing. By building upon the vast knowledge and capability within the oil and gas industry, there is a real potential to accelerate market led needs and support economic growth. NSRI has a pivotal role to play in this exciting opportunity, to represent the industry as an impartial and independent body.”

Aligned with industry body Subsea UK, NSRI’s purpose is to bring together industry, developers and academia to collaborate effectively, fast-tracking the introduction of new technology.

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