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SmartBay Ireland & Newfoundland Strengthen Ties In Atlantic Bridge

11th January 2015
SmartBay Ireland & Newfoundland Strengthen Ties In Atlantic Bridge

#MarineScience - SmartBay Ireland has entered into a transatlantic collaboration agreement with the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland in St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, Dublin City University and the Marine Institute.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed at a reception hosted by the Canadian Embassy during a recent Canadian trade mission to Ireland. Welcoming the agreement, Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, said: "This is a tangible example of the type of transatlantic collaboration envisaged in the Galway Statement.

"I am especially pleased to build on the strong partnerships established with our colleagues in Newfoundland and to see the exciting collaborative opportunities in sensor technology test and demonstration for our linked SmartBay initiatives."

The agreement is designed to further consolidate and develop the partnership that exists between the marine institutes of Newfoundland and Labrador and Ireland and the SmartBay infrastructures.

Glenn Blackwood, vice-president of Memorial University, said: "Since the establishment of our marine institute, we have focused on building meaningful relationships with industry partners. This MOU solidifies our commitment to further strengthen ongoing links between SmartBay Newfoundland and Labrador and SmartBay Ireland and allows for increased collaboration on the work that both jurisdictions are conducting in the ocean industry."

The key aims of the agreement are the sharing of assets, capacity and capability in a joint mission to provide access by scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs to both SmartBay test and validation infrastructures currently deployed in the North Atlantic.

Dr Fiona Regan, director of the Marine and Environmental Sensing Technology Hub (MESTECH) and SmartBay Ireland principal investigator, added: "This exciting collaboration will enable the establishment of joint projects in the area of ocean observation with our academic and industry partners from Ireland and Canada, sharing expertise and infrastructure."

These objectives will be achieved through a range of activities including: joint industry and academic research projects; outreach and education programmes; and the identification of opportunities to leverage funding for joint research projects and the expansion of collaborative arrangements to include other jurisdictions bordering the North Atlantic.

John Breslin, general manager of SmartBay Ireland, said: "We are delighted to be working with our Canadian partners to utilise the infrastructure and expertise within both SmartBay facilities to identify and develop sensor-driven decision support tools to address specific industry needs within the oil and gas, aquaculture and telecommunications sectors."

This agreement is based on a common vision and cultural appreciation of the societal and economic value of the ocean and is another step toward the utilisation of the jurisdictions' joint facilities and expertise to deliver projects of scientific and economic benefit.

Ron Newhook, director of the Marine Institute of Newfoundland and Labrador's Office of Research and Development and Randy Gillespie, director of the institute's Centre for Applied Ocean Technology were part of the recent Newfoundland and Labrador trade mission to Ireland and attended the MOU signing.

"Capturing the spirit of the Galway Declaration, this new MOU renews and strengthens transatlantic collaborations between industry, governments, academia and NGOs," said Newhook.

"Together, SmartBay Ireland and the Marine Institute's Centre for Applied Ocean Technology, which currently operates SmartBay Newfoundland and SmartAtlantic, will lead the way in the development and implementation of a sustainable observatory which will provide information to support a safe and sustainable ocean industry in the broad North Atlantic."

Published in Marine Science
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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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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