The Marine Institute is delighted to welcome Friday’s announcement by An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen and Minister for Industry Trade and Innovation, Mr Batt O Keffe, TD. of significant investments in physical infrastructure and research in Ireland under the Government's Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions (PRTLI).
SmartBay, an innovative project to establish a National Shared Marine Research, Test and Demonstration Platform to catalyse and facilitate the commercial development of cutting-edge remote sensing environmental and marine technology, has been awarded €3.823 million. The funding will enable the expansion of the current pilot infrastructure deployed of the west coast of Galway. The pilot project is already facilitating the development of a dynamic partnership between academia, multinational companies, indigenous enterprises and government agencies. The SmartBay Consortium bid, led by Dublin City University, included partners NUI Galway, University College Dublin, NUI Maynooth and University College Dublin, IBM, Intel and the Marine Institute.
Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute said that ‘the SmartBay – National Research, Test and Demonstration Platform, will act as a focal point for the development of innovative solutions to important environmental issues and harness indigenous intellectual and technological creativity to establish Ireland as a hub for the emergence of next-generation marine, communications and environmental sensing technologies’.
SmartBay has also been an important catalyst for the proposal to establish a SmartOcean Innovation Cluster which was launched by the Marine Institute for consultation earlier this year https://www.marine.ie/home/SmartOcean.html.
The SmartOcean Innovation Cluster seeks to establish Ireland as a leader in the development and deployment of ICT enabled marine technology solutions into global markets.
Ms. Yvonne Shields, Director of Strategic Planning and Development Services at the Marine Institute, expressed her delight at the award for SmartBay noting that "the award and the significant involvement of industry in the SmartBay pilot project to date, signals confidence in Ireland’s innovative and proactive approach to carving out a niche global market opportunity harnessing our greatest natural asset – the ocean. In addition the related award of €8.4M to the Maritime and Energy Research Cluster based in Cork for expanding the facilities at UCC to support the development potential of the Marine Renewable Energy Sectors is also a major boost to Ireland's SmartOcean strategy."
The Marine Institute will shortly launch a dedicated SmartOcean webportal to help dissemination of information to the expanding ocean technology community in Ireland. In the meantime a SmartOcean group has been set up on LinkedIn which you are invited to join for community updates on current and future activities in the area of Ocean Technologies at http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2912855&trk=anetsrch_name&goback=%2Egdr_1279535572805_1