Page 38: of Marine Technology Magazine (May 2017)

Underwater Defence

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Voices ism, shipping, oil and gas, renewable ocean energy and new a strategic framework for delivery that will strengthen estab- applications for health, medicine and technology. lished marine sectors and also ‘marinize’ sectors outside the

Determined to demonstrate Ireland’s real ambitions and in- marine area where Ireland has existing strengths, including tent and recognizing signi? cant opportunities for growth, an ICT, life sciences and ? nancial services.

interdepartmental Marine Coordination Group set up by the “Ireland already has expertise across a number of the key

Irish Government launched an integrated marine plan called enabling technologies required to develop products and ser- ‘Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth’. The Group consists of se- vices that will support growth in emerging areas of the global nior representatives across a number of Government Depart- blue economy while creating ef? ciencies and supporting sus- ments and is chaired by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and tainability across more established markets. For example, ex- the Marine, is convened by the Department of the Taoiseach pertise in areas such as sensors, platforms, communications, (Ireland’s Prime Minister), and now oversees the implementa- robotics, informatics, computer vision and advanced materials tion of the strategy. Hence the strategy is being driven from can be harnessed in new ways to drive innovation in global the highest levels of Government and represents a unique and marine markets with high growth potential. The international joined-up approach for growing the country’s blue economy. links and supporting mechanisms are being put in place so that

It is a coordinated approach with speci? c actions outlined for technology companies, entrepreneurs and researchers will use growing more established sectors of the marine economy such Ireland as a test-bed to develop, test and validate these tech- as aquaculture, ? sheries and tourism, while also recognizing nologies through leveraging its geographical location, world-

Ireland’s unique value proposition across a number of emerg- class expertise and infrastructure,” she said.

ing marine sectors such as marine renewable energy, marine biotechnology, marine ICT and maritime commerce. First steps “Our most recent move has been the launch of a Marine De- In 2008, Ireland began to make key investments in these ar- velopment Team to put into effect measures to realize the busi- eas in the context of ‘Sea Change: A Marine Knowledge, Re- ness development and enterprise ambitions of the strategy,” search and Innovation Strategy for Ireland 2007-2013’. One stated Dr. Edel O’Connor, Business Development Manager at of the priority areas was marine sensors and communications the Irish Maritime Development Of? ce. “This team will have systems for the marine environment: the National Centre for dedicated resources to work with all the relevant government Sensor Research (NCSR) at Dublin City University (DCU) agencies and organizations to support the implementation of was awarded 2.4 million as part of the Beaufort Marine Re-

Helicopter rescue service drill on the Marine Institute’s research vessel Celtic Explorer.

Photo: David Branigan, Oceansport © Marine Institute

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