SmartOcean Forum Calls Tech Companies to look to the Sea for Opportunities

SmartOcean Ireland invites ICT companies to register for the SmartOcean Forum 2013 at the Titanic Centre, Belfast, 5-6 November and join Ireland’s emerging marine technology sector to develop high-tech products and services for the global marine sector.

The purpose of this all-island event is to highlight the commercial opportunities and emerging innovations of Ireland’s SmartOcean Cluster. The forum, sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland, will focus on key areas such as blue growth, marine data and knowledge, renewable ocean energy, sustainable exploitation of marine resources and ocean observation.

SmartOcean, a Marine Institute led initiative, aims to establish Ireland as a leader in the development of specialist ICT products and services for global marine sectors.

Dr. Edel O’Connor, National Coordinator, Advanced Marine Technology Programme said: “We have a huge opportunity here in Ireland to translate technologies for global marine markets including traditional sectors such as fisheries, aquaculture, transport and security as well as emerging sectors such as ocean energy and environmental monitoring, and ocean observatories. We want to bring together ICT companies, large and small, in Ireland, the European Atlantic States, the US and Canada to collaborate and deliver new marine technology products and services.”

Alison Gowdy, Head of Sector and Cluster Development at economic development agency Invest Northern Ireland, commented “ICT companies in Northern Ireland are enjoying global success in many areas relevant to the SmartOcean event, including wireless sensors, data analytics, mobile and wireless comms, and underwater monitoring. Invest Northern Ireland is pleased to sponsor the event which is being held in Belfast this year for the first time”.

The forum will have a strong transatlantic focus building on the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation signed earlier this year (23 May 2013) at the Marine Institute by EU Commissioners Maire Geoghegan Quinn and Maria Damanaki, Edward Fast for Canada and Dr Kerri-Ann Jones on behalf of the US Government.

Speakers from US, Canada, and Europe will include Dr. Gilles Ollier, Head of Sector Earth Observation, DG for Research & Innovation, European Commission, Dan Fay, Director, Earth, Energy and Environment, Microsoft Research, and Andrei Grigoriev, Senior Director Enterprise Services SAP as well as the European Space Agency.

The forum will give insights on emerging markets, policy and opportunities for innovation associated with the launch of Horizon 2020 in 2014 and will work towards achieving targets set out in Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth – An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland. For more information and registration visit or contact




Note to Editor

About SmartOcean

SmartOcean is a initiative led by the Marine institute aimed at catalysing the development of high value products and services by creating a critical mass of research and development activities in Marine ICT. SmartOcean seeks to harness Ireland’s natural marine resources and specialist expertise in Marine Science and ICT to establish Ireland as a leader in the development of high value products and services for the global marine sector. This includes the delivery of next generation technology products and services for marine sectors such as aquaculture, environmental monitoring, shipping and security, marine renewable energy, tourism, and oil and gas

The Marine Institute launched the SmartOcean Forum in 2010, as part of an island-wide strategy to create a SmartOcean Innovation Cluster. This cluster was created to establish the island of Ireland as a leader in the development and deployment of specialist ICT products for marine sectors such as oil and gas, marine renewable energy, aquaculture and fisheries, transport and security, tourism, and environmental monitoring. It promotes engagement between the research community and industry with participants from industry, academia, and government organisations from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.