Nova Scotia and the United Kingdom will work together to advance tidal research to help the future development of the industry. A memorandum of understanding between the province, the Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia and the United Kingdom’s Technology Strategy Board will encourage joint research in order to improve the technology required to generate electricity using high tides like those in the Bay of Fundy. Energy Minister Andrew Younger, executive director Stephen Dempsey of the Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia and the British Deputy High Commissioner to Canada, Corin Robertson, on behalf of the Technology Strategy Board, announced the agreement today, March 4, in Halifax. “Bringing together tidal energy leaders from Nova Scotia and the U.K. will help advance efforts to harness the power of Fundy tides,” said Mr. Younger. “Collaborating on tidal development will help us save money and increase our research capacity. It will also create opportunities for businesses and researchers in both Nova Scotia and the United Kingdom.” Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia and the Technology Strategy Board are contributing $250,000 each towards the initiative. They will oversee the majority of the work associated with the memorandum. It outlines areas of collaboration including environmental sensing research and instrumentation technologies, to better understand high flow tidal resources and their environment located within the Bay of Fundy, and Orkney, Scotland. Joint request for proposals will be issued for research projects in both Canada and the U.K. to explore these and other tidal-related topics. The first request will be issued later this year and will focus on environmental sensing research to better understand and validate devices for tidal development and their impact on the environment. Both the Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia and the Technology Strategy Board lead research efforts that enable the sustainable development of energy resources, including marine renewable energy, and bring them closer to market, through strategic partnerships with academia, government and industry. “The U.K. sees the development of its marine energy resources as an important step towards meeting our renewable energy objectives,” said Mrs. Robertson. “This memorandum will not only advance the state of research in this area, bringing us closer to grid connectivity and commercial production, but will encourage the development of a low carbon industry with great economic potential. “The U.K. and Canada are global leaders in this space and can work together, leading the world in the development and commercialization of tidal energy.” “Partnering with our colleagues at the Technology Strategy Board and accessing their network will contribute to the development of new technologies, facilitate the creation of renewable energy companies, and stimulate future exports from our province that will pay dividends for years to come,” said Mr. Dempsey. Go to www.oera.ca and www.innovateuk.org for more information. The signing is part of the first-ever pop-up British consulate and British Week in Halifax. The consulate is at Citadel Hill and is open until March 7. Nova Scotians are invited to visit British Week events. More information can be found at www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-high-commission-ottawa .
Over the weekend, Ms. McAskie met with internally displaced persons, as well as Liberian refugees, temporarily sheltered in churches and mosques, and others stranded under trees or amidst debris, according to an update issued today by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).”We will continue to pressure the Government to stop this destruction and to treat its citizens and foreign guests in a more humane manner,” she said, promising to convey their plight to the UN. Ms. McAskie also spoke about the ethnic dimension of the conflict in Côte d’Ivoire, which had been a model for social tolerance and economic productivity until a coup attempt on 19 September 2002.The UN estimates that as many as 1 million people have been displaced within Côte d’Ivoire and more than 120,000 have fled to neighbouring countries in the wake of the coup and the subsequent destruction of several shantytowns in Abidjan by Government authorities. No alternative housing or compensation has been provided since.During her month-long mission to the region, Ms. McAskie aims to negotiate humanitarian access to vulnerable populations and to focus international attention on the crisis. Later this week, she is scheduled to visit camps for displaced people before proceeding to neighbouring countries affected by the crisis.