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€5M For Marine & Agri-Food Projects Under Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund

11th December 2018
Taoiseach and ministers at the announcement of the inaugural round of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund Taoiseach and ministers at the announcement of the inaugural round of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund Photo: DBEI

Marine Minister Creed has welcomed the announcement of over €5 million in funding for marine and agri-food projects under the Government’s Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund.

The inaugural funding call, announced yesterday (Monday 10 December) by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Innovation Minister Heather Humphreys, will see Ireland’s leading research performing organisations including the Marine Institute, Teagasc, universities and institutes of higher education share in the €75 million funding pot along with successful agri-food and marine companies.

Minister Creed said: “This is a huge boost for the agri-food and marine sector and highlights the innovation potential that exists in our SMEs and research-performing organisations, particularly when working together in close collaboration.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the applicants on their success in what was a highly competitive funding call.”

Minister Creed added that he recognised the “importance and significant role” the agri-food and marine sector “plays in maintaining rural economies and communities”.

“I have been particularly encouraged by the participation and success of rural-based SMEs under this call. These industries are vital to the economic stability of the country as a whole and the opportunity for SMEs to collaborate with some of our leading academic institutions will be of enormous benefit in the safeguarding and future growth of the economy, jobs and rural communities.”

Among the total of 27 projects that will received funding in this inaugural round are three with a marine focus.

HYDRO-fish — a consortium including NUI Galway, Bio-Marine Ingredients Ireland, Teagasc and the Marine Institute — will received €2 million over three years to combine targeted nutraceuticals and traceability technology for a smarter and sustainable Irish fish aquaculture industry.

HYDRO-fish is a multi-disciplinary research programme, specifically designed to employ current technologies from other sectors to disrupt and enhance current fish farming practices. The project entails reinforcing the supply chain of Irish salmon production, in particular for organic salmon farming.

In Cork, Allihies Seafood, Carbery Group and the University of Limerick will receive €1.8 million over the same period for the optimised commercial-scale cultivation of protein-rich biomass from Palmaria palmata.

This project aims to sustainably generate plant-based proteinaceous ingredients for exploitation as a source of high-quality protein and contribute to meeting the growing global demand for plant-based protein for animal and human consumption.

And in Dublin, Techworks Marine Ltd and DCU will get €1.1 million towards developing an advanced environmental decision support system for coastal areas.

This project will address issues such as coastal pollution and flooding. Such a system will provide enhanced insights to coastal industries, local authorities, government agencies and will ultimately benefit Irish society.

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)

At A Glance – Figaro Race

  • It starts in June or July from a French port.
  • The race is split into four stages varying from year to year, from the length of the French coast and making up a total of around 1,500 to 2,000 nautical miles (1,700 to 2,300 mi; 2,800 to 3,700 km) on average.
  • Over the years the race has lasted between 10 and 13 days at sea.
  • The competitor is alone in the boat, participation is mixed.
  • Since 1990, all boats are of one design.

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