A new centre, which will carry out scientific research into the generation of renewable energy at sea, has been launched in Cork.

A total of €29m provided by the Government and industry is to be invested into the Marine Renewable Energy Ireland centre, or MaREI.

It is one of seven world class scientific research centres being set up by Science Foundation Ireland.

The centre aims to use Ireland's maritime links to help develop new methods of drawing renewable energy from the sea, by making Ireland an international focal point for the marine renewable industry.

It will study a range of aspects of renewable marine energy, including offshore wind, the use of robotics and materials which can endure ocean conditions, as well as wave and marine energy devices.

The Department of Jobs, through Science Foundation Ireland, will provide €19m, while 45 companies will give a further €10.5m.

The investment will help support 77 highly-skilled jobs at the eight academic institutions involved in the project.

The centre was launched by Minister for Research Sean Sherlock at UCC, which is the lead academic partner.