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Minister Announces Funding For Marine Research Projects

23rd November 2017
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Marine Minister Michael Creed yesterday announced new funding grants which are being made in two research areas Marine Minister Michael Creed yesterday announced new funding grants which are being made in two research areas Photo: Justin McInness

#MarineScience - Marine Minister Michael Creed has announced the awarding of €3.3 million grant funding through the Marine Institute to research projects in specialist marine equipment and ocean law.

Some 19 funding grants in total have been made in the area of specialist marine equipment and small infrastructure, totalling more than €2.5 million.

The Higher Education Institutes (HEI) sector will receive 14 of these grants with five being granted to industry-led proposals (SMEs). The funding grants range from €20,000 to €200,000, with industry being funded at 75 per cent — meaning that these will also leverage private investment in specialist marine equipment for research and innovation development.

The ocean law and marine governance grant is being made to a partnership project between the MaREI Centre and University College of Cork School of Law. The funding amounts to €800,000 and will run over four years, employing three researchers with contributions from 12 MaREI and five UCC School of Law staff.

More than 20 researchers attended the announcement of the grants yesterday (Wednesday 22 November) in Dublin city centre.

“I’m delighted to announce these funding grants which herald the next step forward for many new projects in our marine sector,” said Minister Creed. “The funding for marine research equipment helps to target a gap in funding that exists between supports available to Higher Education Institutes via HEA and support from Ireland’s development agencies such as SFI and Enterprise Ireland.

“These grants will allow the marine research and innovation community to purchase specialist equipment needed to support their current and future research activities.”

Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, said the funding grants would enable pioneering marine research projects to develop in decades to come.

“The ocean law and marine governance grant marks a very important step in investing further in the area of marine law and governance,” he said.

“During the development of the National Marine Research and Innovation Strategy, it was indicated that this important research area should be supported and the Marine Institute, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Department of Foreign Affairs were consulted and a call was launched for a project-based funding grant.

“We are delighted that the MaREI Centre and UCC School of Law will be collaborating on this project which is called Navigate and will be led and co-ordinated by Dr Anne Marie O’Hagan, a senior post-doctoral research fellow in the Marine and Coastal Governance Group in the MaREI Centre.”

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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