A guide to grant-aid available to the marine sector under the National Development Plan was launched today at an information seminar in Galway. The guide, published by the Marine Institute (MI), is designed to raise awareness of the many NDP supports available to the marine sector.
The information seminar, organised by the Border, Midland and Western Regional (BMW) Assembly in association with the MI, was attended by representatives of the marine industry, third level institutes and entrepreneurs seeking information on how to access grant aid.
Mr. Geoffrey O’Sullivan, RTDI Manager, Marine Institute said, “The National Development Plan 2000-2006 recognises the importance of R&D as a driver of economic development. In 2002, €4.85 million was allocated to marine R&D under the NDP Marine RTDI Measure –equivalent to the total spend on marine R&D during the period 1994-1999. Roughly half of this spend supports projects in the BMW region. Knowledge based on R&D is a key to the sustainable development of our national marine resource.”
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) reported that 33 fisheries projects worth €11.4 million had been approved to date, while €12 million was allocated to aquaculture projects, of which €8million was in the BMW region. Helen Walsh of the Environmental Protection Agency described the EPA’s “Cleaner Greener Production Programme”, under which two aquaculture/sea-food processing companies in the BMW region are improving their production process: Killary Salmon (Galway) and Atlanfish (Donegal).
Speakers from Enterprise Ireland (EI) and Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) outlined their funding programmes relevant to the Marine sector.