Sixth annual ScotMER symposium draws record attendees

March 8, 2024 by No Comments | Category Marine Renewables, ScotMER, Uncategorized

The ScotMER programme recently held its sixth annual symposium attracting over 1,000 registered attendees from 30 different countries. 

The symposium took place online over three days and showcased the breadth of active research currently being undertaken by the programme. Attendees heard updates from each of the seven ScotMER receptor groups (described below), as well as the ECOWind and OWEC Research Programmes.  

For anybody that missed it, all the talks are now available on our  YouTube Channel and more information about the ScotMER programme itself is below.  


The Scottish Marine Energy Research Programme (ScotMER) is a Scottish Government initiative that identifies and addresses key evidence needs to help inform licensing, consenting and planning decisions concerning offshore renewable developments.  

The Scottish Government has committed to investing up to £3.2 million per year until 2026/27 into research that will be delivered through the ScotMER programme, to improve the scientific evidence base that is key to delivering ScotWind. 

ScotMER supports the Scottish Government’s commitment to Net Zero by 2045 and provides evidence for the Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy and the National Marine Plan. Evidence produced by ScotMER helps to deliver towards:  

Our Blue Economy Vision for Scotland  

Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan 2018-2032 

Draft Scottish Biodiversity strategy to 2045: tackling the nature emergency 

Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan 

ScotMER develops the evidence base for these plans through three areas: 

Receptor Groups  

The ScotMER programme has seven receptor groups shown in the image below. Each receptor has a dedicated group of technical experts who specialise in a specific part of the marine ecosystem. Members consist of a range of external and internal stakeholders from across government (marine science, planning and licensing), statutory nature conservation bodies (e.g. NatureScot), academia, industry (developers via Scottish Renewables developer representatives, and representatives from the fishing industry), as well as environmental non-governmental organisations (eNGOs). 

The ScotMER receptor groups are listed below: 

The image shows the seven receptor groups. At the top is diadromous fish wirth an orange banner and a picture of fish, the next is marine mammals in light blue with a picture of a dolphin, the next is a picture of a bank note with the queen in purple, the next is physical processes in grey with a picture of equipment, then benthic in light grey with a picture of the seabed, then fish and fisheries in dark blue with a picture of a fishing boat and net, then ornithology in brown with a picture of two gannets on a rock. These are all in a circle with a map in the middle.


Research ideas proposed by the receptor groups are reviewed internally by the Scottish Government,  then developed into project ideas. These are prioritised for progression based on current evidence needs by the projects board, a collection of key internal and external stakeholders, before presenting to ministers for approval. 

In the last year the ScotMER programme has published seven project outputs on the Scottish Government website. The programme currently has fourteen active research projects, and a series of new projects in planning.  


The ScotMER Programme actively communicates the project outputs to key decision makers across Scottish Government (marine licensing, consenting, planning and policy colleagues), as well as external stakeholders such as NatureScot, industry (developers and fishing), the academic community, and environmental non-governmental organisations.  

Along with publishing project outputs, the programme has presented at conferences such as All Energy and the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) Annual Science Meeting.  We also engage with external stakeholders through broader engagement and collaboration with other research programmes such as the Offshore Renewable Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP). This ensures the research interests of ScotMER are aligned with other work ongoing in the marine renewable energy sector and avoids duplication of effort.  



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