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Displaying items by tag: Blue Economy

The Atlantic Smart Ports Blue Acceleration Network’s (AspBAN) programme for startups aims to develop innovative solutions to the needs, challenges and innovation priorities of the ports of the Atlantic.

Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, highlighted the role of the project — which is co-financed by the European Union under the European Maritime Fund and Fisheries — for its contribution to the implementation of the Action Plan for the Atlantic 2.0.

AspBAN’s Acceleration Services programme will consist of weekly workshops on topics related to product-market fit, collaborating within the blue economy, metrics, implementing and scaling and so on. These will be complemented by mentoring sessions with experts.

Every two months a pitch session will be hosted, where start-ups will be pitching to investors, ports and other relevant stakeholders in the ever-growing AspBAN network.

The programme is focused on strengthening innovation in the European blue economy, with a clear focus on sustainability. Therefore, it will be open for start-ups that are both able and willing to implement their sustainable solutions in AspBAN’s focus countries: Portugal, Spain, France and Ireland.

Also, start-ups should have at least a prototype ready and be prepared to raise money.

“The Acceleration Services programme is a deep dive into the European Innovation ecosystem of Atlantic blue ports,” says Ana Pinela, project coordinator for Beta-i Collaborative Innovation.

“It will involve sharing specific knowledge while connecting the participating start-ups to relevant investors, like-minded people and mentors to accelerate their businesses. Also, it will allow start-ups to connect with other start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs in a universe of Atlantic blue ports.

“We’re searching for innovative start-ups, whose cutting-edge solutions may contribute to boosting digitalisation and improve operational efficiency, green transition and positive impact on achieving sustainability metrics, and for the emergence of new businesses for the ports in the blue economy area.

“AspBAN aims at kicking off a dynamic start-up acceleration ecosystem where EU Atlantic ports will work as blue economy hubs.”

The Acceleration Services programme is free of charge and start-ups may apply until next Friday 15 October 2021. For further details, visit the AspBAN project 2021 microsite HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping

An upcoming webinar hosted by the Marine Ireland Industry Network aims to highlight ‘Ireland’s Blue Edge in Innovation’.

The showcase of Irish marine clusters and technology companies will be hosted on the GoToWebinar platform on Thursday 30 September from 11am to 12.30pm. Registration is open HERE.

Three industry clusters will be showcased, namely offshore wind power, the marine bioeconomy and commercial fishing in Killybegs.

There will also be presentations from four Irish companies innovating in the marine sectorL Raceix, Cathx Ocean, Dublin Offshore Consultants and Druid Software.

For more details contact [email protected]

Published in News Update

Embracing connectivity is the theme of the third Pillar I workshop for the Atlantic Action Plan: ports as gateways and hubs for the blue economy.

Connectivity: Staying Connected for Trade, Tourism and Economic Growth takes place online on Thursday 16 September from 9.30am to 12.15pm IST. See the workshop agenda HERE.

The workshop will be examining the significance of connectivity in promoting trade, tourism and economic growth in the maritime transport sphere.

It will focus on the Atlantic area and highlight post-Brexit issues, digitisation, the growing importance of regional ports and regional development in general.

To take part, complete the registration form by Tuesday 14 September.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Digitisation of port operations is the topic of the first in a new series of three workshops under Pillar I of the Atlantic Action Plan: ports as gateways and hubs for the blue economy.

The Current Status and Future Direction of Digitalisation in Ports in the Atlantic Sea Basin will take place this Wednesday 12 May from 9.30am to 12.45pm GMT. See the workship agenda HERE.

Digitalisation is of key importance for the future growth, sustainability and efficiency of the maritime industry. As part of this workshop, a panel of industry experts will discuss best practices of existing projects, with a focus on the user perspective.

The workshop will also seek to address the potential of future technologies to positively impact connectivity and facilitate trade.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Running from 2021-2027, Horizon Europe will be the most ambitious research and innovation programme in the world with a budget of €95 billion.

Building on the achievements of Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe offers a broad range of opportunities for Irish researchers, innovators and Irish companies of all sizes in the pursuit of new discoveries, scientific and technological advancement and innovation.

The virtual event this Thursday 25 March from 9.30am will provide an overview of the Horizon Europe programme, and offer practical advice for researchers and innovators on submitting competitive applications in Horizon Europe.

Registration is now open and is available, along with the event’s agenda, on the Enterprise Ireland website HERE.

This week also sees the fifth International Symposium on the Oceans in National Income Accounts, hosted online by SEMRU at NUI Galway this Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 March.

Representatives from government, industry, academia and international organisations will share their perspectives on progress made in measuring the blue economy.

They will discuss ways in which ocean economy statistics can be improved through different accounting approaches, as well as examining how policymakers’ use of this data can be improved. For more see the agenda and registration page.

Published in News Update

A new Blue Entrepreneurship Programme aims to foster innovative business ideas in the Blue Economy sector across the European Union’s Atlantic member states, including Ireland, France and Spain.

Thirty applicants with business ideas related to the marine environment will be selected by the MarENet consortium to be part of this online training and mentoring programme, which will run from March to October this year.

The programme aims to strengthen the knowledge and skills of all involved, as well as provide them with the necessary tools to pursue their ideas and turn them into projects with real potential.

Fifteen project proposals will also have the opportunity to take park in a ‘Blue Hackathon’ event in Cork this June, subject to pandemic restrictions.

This will give participants the opportunity to interact with industry, academic and research institutions, confederations and associations as well as other marine stakeholders.

At the final stage, the three winners at the Blue Hackathon will receive close assistance to identify potential funding opportunities and will be guided to create synergies with the industry to put their ideas into practice.

Speaking about the programme, Yvonne O’Byrne from Munster Technological University said: “It is a fantastic opportunity for budding entrepreneurs in the maritime sector to receive guidance and training to assist them in pursuing their business ideas.

“I think during the last 12 months, lots of us have taken some time to reflect on our careers and I’m sure there are many people out there working or interested in the maritime industry with a great idea for a new business but not sure what to do next. This programme, which is completely free of charge, is a great first step.”

If you have a business idea that responds to some of the challenges of the marine environment or maritime industry, apply today by filling out the online application form. Registration closes on Sunday 28 February 28.

To learn more about what the MarENet entrepreneurship programme includes and how you can get involved, download the brochure HERE.

The MarENet consortium, led by the University of Vigo - Campus do Mar, comprises Munster Technological University (MUT) and the Irish Maritime Development Office; Vigo Port Authority, Naval Cluster Association of Galicia (ACLUNAGA), Spanish Fisheries Confederation (CEPESCA) and Institute for Sustainable Business Growth (ICSEM) in Spain; and the University of La Rochelle in France. The MarENet project is co-financed by the European Commission’s European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

Published in Coastal Notes

Sunday 15 March is the deadline to apply for a stand at the European Maritime Day Expo in Cork this May.

Ahead of the official launch of registration later this month for the conference taking place at Cork City Hall on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 May, applications are now open for stands at the Expo taking place over the two days.

European Maritime Day (EMD) is the annual EU meeting point on maritime affairs and a sustainable blue economy, and targets maritime professionals, entrepreneurs and ocean leaders.

This year’s conference will also be held back-to-back with SeaFest, Ireland’s largest free family-friendly maritime festival.

As such, EMD is an ideal place for maritime stakeholders to showcase innovative ideas, products and services related to the conference themes, as well as to meet, exchange experiences and discuss the latest developments on blue economy.

Get more information from the EMD website, and apply for a stand at the EMD Expo HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour

Ocean energy is the greatest opportunity for the growth of Ireland’s maritime or ‘Blue’ economy, according to a new survey produced as part of the Our Ocean Wealth Summit.

As the Irish Examiner reports, the survey commissioned by the Marine Institute and PwC says more than 80% of leading voices in the maritime sector are “confident in its future growth potential”, in the words of PwC partner Declan McDonald.

Apart from offshore energy developments in wave and wind power, the survey highlights potential in maritime tourism, aquaculture, sea fisheries, biotechnology and shipping.

The Irish Examiner has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea

Chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan is representing the Marine Institute at European Maritime Day 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal this week.

Concluding today, Friday 17 May, European Maritime Day is one of the largest marine science and policy meetings of the year.

The 2019 programme focuses on blue entrepreneurship, research, innovation and investment to transform traditional maritime sectors and boost emerging technologies.

Dr Heffernan said the Marine Institute “plays a crucial role in supporting, co-ordinating and promoting marine research at a national and international level.

“By working alongside academic institutions in Ireland, and participating in and leading research partnerships, the institute is able to increase our knowledge of the ocean which will assist in the sustainable management and development of our marine resource.”

The Galway Statement, signed at the Marine Institute in 2013, provided the first step in forming the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AORA) between the European Union, Canada and the United States of America.

AORA aims to promote a healthier Atlantic Ocean, find more sustainable ways to use its resources and increase people’s awareness and literacy surrounding the ocean.

“AORA is science diplomacy at work,” Dr Heffernan said. “Transatlantic cooperation has been instrumental to the success of AORA and creating a strong Atlantic community.

“Within five years, scientific research teams working together in the Atlantic have unearthed new discoveries and knowledge in the areas of seabed mapping, ocean observation, climate and polar research, and marine biotechnology.”

European Maritime Day encourages a ‘blue economy revolution’ to deliver economic growth in the maritime sector and expand employment opportunity.

The programme covers almost all aspects of marine science, technology and policy, and encourages participants to engage with partners from the EU community to exchange information.

The 2020 European Maritime Day annual meeting will be hosted by Cork City Council, which will mark the first time Ireland has hosted the event.

Published in Marine Science

Robotics, Internet of Things and data analytics are set to play a key role in Ireland's blue economy, according to the Marine Institute.

The national funding agency for the marine research industry recently awarded financial investments in two marine technology projects led by Xocean and IDS Monitoring.

Louth-based marine technology firm Xocean has been awarded €199,739 in funding over two years to transform marine monitoring and data collection.

The company uses innovative robotics, particularly unmanned vehicles, and IoT technology to monitor and collect data at sea.

Elsewhere, a new smart data buoy project by Clare-based IDS Monitoring will also benefit from a €196,955 funding grant, to develop a new smart buoy for coastal and inshore environmental monitoring.

The new IDS Buoy will make it easier to assemble, deploy and use buoys, as well as reducing purchase costs and maintenance, whilst enhancing the value of the information delivered through the smart buoy.

Recently announced by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, the industry-led awards support Ireland's Integrated Marine PlanHarnessing Our Ocean Wealth, as well as the national Marine Research and Innovation Strategy 2017-2021.

“Supporting Irish companies in the marine sector, through research grants, helps to accelerate innovation and drive growth in our blue economy,” said Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan.

“The Marine Institute is committed to assisting industry-led development through knowledge transfer, capacity building and research to enable optimal decision making and planning to best leverage our natural marine resources sustainably and efficiently.

“Both advanced technology research projects funded through the Marine Institute have the potential to be globally significant, and present enormous commercial opportunities for these Irish marine enterprises.

“Increased economic growth and job creation from small and medium sized enterprises based in Ireland is a key component of several national strategies and regional development plans.

“These awards will be carried out with the support of the Marine Institute under the Marine Research Programme 2014-2020 funded by the Irish Government, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.”

Published in News Update
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Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

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