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Ireland Needs Reliable 'Blue Growth' Stats As Marine Sector Outperforms General Economy, Spurs Innovations

4th October 2015
Ocean energy software launch
UCC VP for research and innovation Prof Anita Maguire and Dr Ray Alcorn of Exceedence Ltd at the licensing by UCC of innovative analytic software for the marine renewable sector Provision/Daragh McSweeney

#MarineIndustry - With Ireland's maritime industry definitively outperforming the general economy since the global financial crisis began, "reliable statistics" on the sector are needed to understand how the health of our waters and coastline affects the country as a whole.

That's the impetus behind new research being conducted by the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (Semru) at NUI Galway, together with Teagasc, to determine the indirect impact of Ireland's marine economy on the country's broader growth, as the Irish Examiner reports.

The collaboration has already produced what they call the Bio-Economy Input-Output Model, which studies the connections between Ireland’s marine and agriculture sectors and the rest of the economy – and has indicated that for every €100 in marine sector turnover, another €78 is generated across other economic sectors.

With those kinds of results, it's no surprise that Ireland's waters and coastline are being embraced as "a national asset providing incredible opportunities for tourism, energy, food and new applications for therapeutics and technology,” according to Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan.

“We’re building marine research infrastructure that will support and promote the development of the technology we need to harness that energy," he added. "We’re in an ideal position to become a leader in the development of ocean energy technology.”

Indeed, this prime time for Ireland's renewable energy potential was the spur for a UCC spin-out company to license a new financial modelling and analytics tool for the offshore wind and tidal power sectors.

Exceedence Ltd, founded and led by Dr Ray Alcorn, will now bring to market the ExceedenceFINANCE solution, developed by software engineers, financial analysts, industry specialists and researchers in the Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) centre at UCC Beaufort.

“Our software analyses the viability of potential renewable projects and helps to make intelligent decisions on where and when these projects should proceed," explains Dr Alcorn.

The software is designed to help "a wide range of stakeholders" from State agencies, investors, engineers and developers "to create renewable energy infrastructure that can address the need for low or no-carbon energy within Ireland and abroad", according to University College Cork’s VP of research and innovation, Prof Anita Maguire

"This technology is very significant for the blue economy, in Ireland and internationally. We are delighted to see Exceedence develop commercially with the objective of supporting the marine industry and ultimately creating jobs.”

Published in Power From the Sea
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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