The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Public Policy Center (PPC) has launched a new initiative that directly responds to a “clear need” to monitor the U.S.’ emerging offshore wind industry and analyze its economic development and workforce implications, the university has announced.
The Offshore Wind Economics Project, or OSWEP, will be focused on developing actionable insights and evidence designed to inform evidence-based policymaking and maximize the economic and community benefits associated with current and future offshore wind developments in Massachusetts and beyond.
“In recent years, the Public Policy Center has become a leading source of timely policy analysis and deep insight into regional conditions and their policy implications,” notes Dr. Alex Fowler, associate provost for research and economic development. “Our support for the Offshore Wind Economics Project reflects our sincere commitment to the university’s research and economic development mission. OSWEP will nicely complement the extensive expertise resident in our School of Marine Science and Technology and College of Engineering, whose faculty and students are already conducting cutting-edge research into the ecological and environmental implications of this new industry.”
“While offshore wind research is frequently associated with engineers, oceanographers and other natural scientists, it has become clear that there are a number of significant and high-stakes issues that require the sustained attention of social scientists and policy analysts,” adds Elise Korejwa, project manager of SWEP and senior research associate at the Public Policy Center.
“The states and regions that will benefit most from this new industry will be those with the port infrastructure, skilled workforce, and proximity to the wind resources required to attract developers and capture the benefits of the emergence of a major domestic manufacturing supply chain that will be needed to support [offshore wind] developments as the industry grows to scale,” Korejwa continues. “Community leaders, economic and workforce development practitioners, and policymakers will need actionable data and analysis in order to quickly and effectively respond to these opportunities. That is what OSWEP is designed to provide.”