The Marine Institute and IMERC have been presented with the International Maritime Partner award by the Maritime Alliance. The Irish organisation received their award from San Diego-based non-profit industry association The Maritime Alliance (TMA) at the annual Blue Tech & Blue Economy Summit in San Diego (Wednesday 9th November).
The Marine Institute and IMERC were selected for this international award for their work in developing Ireland's marine technology cluster. The Entrepreneur Ship was recently launched as part of the IMERC cluster at their campus in Cork, providing space for companies in areas such as robotics, big data, biotechnology, power generation, cyber security, unmanned systems and power storage as they relate to our ocean and energy systems. The Marine Institute's National Marine Technology Programme and associated SmartOcean initiative promotes the development of high value products and services by creating a critical mass of research and development activities in marine information, communication and technology by developing a marine technology innovation cluster.
In addition to receiving the Award, Dr Edel O'Connor of the Marine Institute gave a keynote address on Ireland's national ocean economy strategy at the Blue Tech and Blue Economy Summit. This five day event brings together over 400 professionals, investors, educators, and government officials to collaborate on issues, engage in key topics and develop partnerships that promote BlueTech blue jobs.
Speaking about the award, Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute said:
"Ireland has been gaining a reputation in Europe, and internationally for its marine research and innovation, and for driving collaboration in this area. This award by the Maritime Alliance shows the high regard for the work we are doing in Ireland with our colleagues at IMERC to bring together marine innovators and create an environment that promotes collaboration to develop BlueTech solutions for a global market."
The award by the Maritime Alliance is the second award the Marine Institute has received for international collaboration in recent months. The Atlantic Project Award for International Cooperation was presented to Dr. Heffernan and Dr. Margaret Rae, Marine Institute for the Horizon 2020 funded Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Co-ordination and Support Action (AORA-CSA). Strategy, innovation, implementation, results and relevance to the Atlantic Strategy all formed part of the award criteria. Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries presented the award at the Atlantic Stakeholders Conference, Dublin, 7 September 16.
The Marine Institute is the lead partner in the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Co-ordination and Support Action project to implement the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean research cooperation. This initiative aims to promote better collaboration on research activities and sharing of marine data and ocean observation infrastructure and has already delivered results, particularly in Atlantic Ocean mapping, including the mapping of ocean transects between St. John's Newfoundland and Galway on Ireland's national research Vessel, Celtic Explorer in June last year and May this year.