Marine Futures Event a huge succcess!
On Thursday 22 June, the University Centre at Petroc welcomed around three hundred businesses, stakeholders and members of the local community to a Marine Futures event held at our South West Institute of Technology (SWIoT). Petroc worked alongside North Devon Council and Torridge District Council to inform and engage local businesses, schools, teachers, students and parents about the emerging opportunities in exciting new areas such as Floating Offshore Wind (FLOW), green hydrogen and aquaculture.
During the morning, the business conference included speakers from the Crown Estate, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE), local business TCi and the National Composites Centre. Speakers presented the upcoming ‘green and marine’ developments in and around the Celtic Sea and how local businesses can be an integral part of the supply chain. The need for a skilled local workforce and encouraging people to study locally and grow their careers in the area was highlighted as key to these developments.
The afternoon session was centred around school and teacher engagement and included industry stands and interactive workshops. Selaine Saxby MP, welcomed school groups to the campus and joined them for the afternoon. Workshops included walking around a virtual reality (VR) wind farm, and the opportunity to make a model of a floating wind turbine and test the structures in a wave tank provided by the University of Plymouth SuperGen project. Seiche Ltd and AutoNaut ran a session on underwater acoustics and brought along a real life-size boat and models to share with the attendees. SS Freshspring and a workshop looking at the logistics of setting up a wind farm also brought the experience to life for schoolchildren and college students.
The workshops were also open to the community, parents and students in the evening where they had the opportunity to listen to speakers talking about the new Appledore Clean Maritime Innovation Centre, learn more about how technology can inform us about climate change, hear what it is like working in FLOW, and find out about the courses and qualifications available locally to support exciting new careers in the marine and maritime sectors.
Dr Caroline Chipperfield, Director for Higher Education said “Wow – what a fantastic day! A huge thank you to the businesses and schools involved – the speakers were inspiring! The developments in the Celtic Sea and surrounding area are going to transform the careers available to people living in Northern Devon. We are working with businesses, universities and stakeholders, across a wide range of sectors to enable people to get the right skills and qualifications to make the most of the opportunities coming this way! I’m so proud to play a small part in these exciting developments, set to benefit the communities of North Devon and Torridge.”.