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SmartOcean's Call of the Sea for Emerging Marine Tech Opportunities

21st October 2013
SmartOcean's Call of the Sea for Emerging Marine Tech 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

Published in Marine Science Team

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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.


At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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