Ireland’s University College Cork is to lead a EUR9m ($12m) European Commission-backed research programme into marine energy.

The university’s hydraulic and maritime research centre will oversee testing at 28 facilities in 12 European countries which are taking part in the marine renewables infrastructure network (Marinet).

EC funding will enable companies to undertake free testing of wave, tidal and wind energy devices at the sites. Potential users must work in Europe and the initiative will run annually until 2015.

Participating countries apart from Ireland include Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway and the UK.