As an island nation, Ireland has a long tradition of marine science and innovation stretching back to such pioneers as Francis Beaufort, John Holland and William Spotiswood Green. Today, Ireland's marine science community includes a wide range of Universities, Institutes of Technology, State and Semi-State bodies, commercial companies, organisations and individuals whose goals include the sustainable development of our marine resource through the application of science and technology.
Ireland's Marine Sector
The Marine sector in Ireland can be categorised into three disctinct groups of activities:
- Marine Services, which accounts for nearly two thirds of the total annual turnover of €3 billion
- Marine Resources (fishing, aquaculture etc) accounting for more than a quarter of the total annual turnover
- Marine Manufacturing companies which generate €166 million in combined annual turnover.
In addition to the three commercial marine sectors, there is a fourth category of activity focussed on marine research: education and training.
Further information is available in the 2005 report, Ireland's Ocean Economy and Resources (PDF, 2.2 MB).
The Role of Research, Technology & Innovation
Science, Technology and Innovation are vital to our economic and social progress. In an increasingly globalised world, it is recognised that high levels of investment in research and innovation are essential, both for economic competitiveness, and to yield innovations in areas such as healthcare and environmental technologies which make tangible improvements to our quality of life.
In June 2006 the Government launched the new National Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2006-2013. The National Science Strategy sets ambitious goals for the attainment of a knowledge society offering new opportunities for employment and social advancement and sets out a shared vision of placing Ireland firmly on the global map in terms of the excellence of our research and its application for the benefit of society.
Sea Change aims to drive the development of the marine sector as a dynamic element of Ireland's knowledge economy.
2020 Vision for the Irish Marine Sector
In 2020, the Irish marine sector will sell into specialised global and local markets in a dynamic, innovative and technologically driven manner, by means of strong industry research partnerships, a skilled workforce and a strategic capability that reponds to markets and technology. It will be internationally recognised for its high quality marine environment and characterised by coherent policy and regulation.
Sea Change: A Marine Knowledge, Research & Innovation Strategy for Ireland 2007-2013.