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Conference Looks to Technology to get More From Marine Resources

IRELAND - 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 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 www.smartocean.org

Lucy Towers

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