Conference Looks to Technology to Get More from our Marine Resources


Businesses and researchers developing technology solutions for the marine sectors will have greater opportunities to test their innovations in an ocean environment following the launch of SmartBay Ireland as a not-for-profit company today at the SmartOcean Conference at the Marine Institute, Galway.

SmartBay Ireland Ltd. Chairman, Mike Devane said “We now have a National Research, Test and Demonstration platform for Marine Technologies where the research community can work together with small and large enterprise to develop innovative solutions for the marine sector.”

The focus of the SmartOcean workshop is to identify challenges in aquaculture, security & logistics, and renewable energy sectors that require innovative technology solutions so that the research community and industry can work together to develop collaborative projects to address those challenges. 

Speaking about the workshop, Mr. Simon Coveney, TD, Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine said, “The development of our ocean wealth is dependent on our ability to extend our research capacity and make it work effectively with large and small industry to address new challenges as they arise in the marine.  The SmartOcean Cluster and SmartBay are excellent examples of how research and industry can partner to use technology and create new enterprise.” 

A new research fund of €400,000 sponsored by Dublin City University was also launched at the event by Prof. Fiona Regan, Director MESTECH group and Research Programme Leader for SmartBay.  ‘The SmartBay National Infrastructure Access Fund will provide competitive funding over a two year period to enable the test and translation of applied research and technology solutions to the announced Test Facility in Galway Bay’. 

The event also recognised two research leaders Dr. Tim McCarthy, NUI Maynooth and Dr. Mike Hartnett , NUI Galway, for their respective contributions to research within the SmartOcean Cluster in the area of Geospatial Information Technologies and the development of Operational Ocean Forecast Systems.  

The second day of proceedings will focus on the SmartOcean Innovation Exchange event which will be hosted tomorrow at the Volvo Global Village.  Twenty two Innovative Irish and International Companies will showcase their marine focused technology solutions to an International Audience.  The SmartOcean recognition awards are sponsored by Multi National members of The SmartOcean Cluster including IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Veolia.  The overall winner will be awarded ‘SmartBay Innovator of the Year 2012’. More information on 


For more information, please contact

Lisa Fitzpatrick, Communications Manager, Marine Institute 
T. 087 2250871 

Notes to Editor

About SmartBay Ireland Ltd.

SmartBay Ireland is responsible for the establishment and development of a National Research, Test and Demonstration Facility to support the application and translation of research, and to provide platforms for the testing and demonstration of new technologies and solutions for Marine and related sectors.  The Company provides access to Researchers, Innovators and Entrepreneurs, who use both its physical and cyber environment to develop innovative solutions.           

SmartBay is a public good company established to support the National Objective of sustainably developing Ireland’s Ocean Wealth. It is at the core of the SmartOcean Cluster providing the basis and support for national and international collaborations between public and private interests, engaging research, technology, and commercial companies, and focused clearly on the future “shared” development of the North Atlantic.  

SmartBay Ireland is sponsored by State Agencies including the Marine Institute and funded under Cycle V of the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions funded by the Higher Education Authority. 

About SmartOcean Cluster

Ireland’s Smart Ocean Innovation Cluster is a network of Companies, Academic Research Groups, and State Agencies with a collective focus on the strategic development of Ireland’s Marine assets and resources.  It is focused on leveraging technological innovation for economic impact. Within the SmartOcean Cluster, a wide range of technologies coalesce as new innovative products and solutions addressing new emerging markets.  The Smart Ocean Cluster promotes engagement among all the Cluster members and provides the SmartBay platform as a hub supporting advanced research and enabling product and service development and testing.  A key strategic goal is to extend the reach of the Cluster Internationally and to establish effective links with Industry Partners. 

About SmartBay National Infrastructure Access Fund

The SmartBay National Infrastructure Access Fund is designed to support Researchers wishing to conduct translational research in the marine environment.  This fund will seed awards (typically €2K-25K) to research teams through a competitive process, and will be open to all Higher Education Institutions on the Island of Ireland.  The goal is to rapidly grow the research base to encompass new academic research teams, SMEs, and MNCs, Nationally and Internationally, and to demonstrate socio-economic impact.    

22 companies showcasing in the SmartOCean Innovation Exchange

Cathx Ocean www.cathxocean
Compass Informatics /  IGeotec
Critical Software - Portugal
DeCare Systems Ireland Ltd
Eire Composites Teo
IDS Monitoring
Luxcel Biosciences
MeteoGroup Offshore
Monterrey Software
Oceanic Consulting Corp. (Canada, NF)
Oceanscan  MFT  (Portugal)
Shimmer Research
Technology From Ideas
TechWorks Marine
Tolerant Networks
WFS Technologies (Scotland)