Displaying items by tag: Funding
#powerfromthesea – Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources Alex White T.D. welcomed the announcement that the SFI Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) had successfully raised an additional €4.2 million in funding from EU research funds for marine energy activities.
The announcement of the substantial EU funding was made to an audience of more than 130 industry and university representatives involved in a variety of marine energy research projects, attending the MaREI Industry Open Day at the National Maritime College of Ireland in Cork.
"I want to commend MaREI on their success in securing substantial EU support to fund their very important research and development work. It is truly laying the foundations for both the energy system and economic opportunity of the future."
Speaking at the MaREI Industry Open Day, Prof. Mark Ferguson, Director General Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland added, "MaREI is one of twelve SFI Research Centres of excellence and impact in Ireland. Research undertaken at MaREI is positioning Ireland to play a leading role in marine renewable energy research which is an area of significant national strategic importance. In its first year MaREI has delivered on the targets which we have set. I look forward to a successful year ahead for MaREI, in terms of new industry partnerships, leveraging funding and new discoveries that will deliver solutions that can benefit both Irish society and the economy."
Prof. Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, Director of the MaREI Centre said that "Large and small companies alike are engaging with MaREI across a huge variety of business opportunities from marine robotics and new materials to endure ocean conditions, to offshore wind, wave and marine energy and mooring devices as well as aquaculture and grid technology solutions. The additional funding from the EU will serve to further position MaREI at the forefront of marine renewable research and commercialisation of this research globally."
The industry-academia MaREI Centre comprises over 45 industry partners, including global market leaders in energy, marine technology, software and hardware providers. Academic partners include lead partner University College Cork along with Cork Institute of Technology, University of Limerick, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, University College Dublin and the Marine Institute.
"MaREI will directly create companies and jobs and serve as a catalyst for Ireland to establish a safe, sustainable and profitable energy supply for domestic use and for export," said Professor Anita Maguire, Vice-President for Research and Innovation at University College Cork.
Minister Alex White also toured the €15 million UCC Beaufort building, performing the customary "topping out" ceremony, which marks the final phase of building works. Beaufort will house the MaREI centre on its completion in July 2015.
The MaREI Centre initially received government support of €19 million through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and a further €10.5 million investment from industry partners. The Centre supports job creation in the in marine renewables sector, while also making Ireland an international focus for the marine energy industry. Almost 90 jobs in the field of marine energy and maritime projects were recently announced by Minister for Agriculture, Food, Marine and Defence Simon Coveney, T.D. for the Cork Harbour region, and MaREI is heavily involved in supporting these companies and the related jobs.
#Fishing - Draft rules for allocating European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) aid to help fishermen comply with the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) requirements were informally agreed late last month, after several three-way meetings between European Parliament, Council and Commission.
The rules should now be approved at the first reading, before the end of the current parliament.
"This was the final chapter of the negotiations," said rapporteur Alain Cadec. "With the political agreement reached tonight we will have an ambitious European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for 2014-2020. This is a real victory for the European Parliament, which was heeded by the Council and the Commission.
"The tug of war between the institutions in December allowed Parliament to return to the negotiating table with a strong position and reach a very satisfactory agreement regarding in particular the financial breakdown and engine renewal."
Parliament’s negotiators improved the Commission proposal, especially on collecting and managing fisheries data, which are needed for example, to set the Maximum Sustainable Yield required by the new CFP rules (MSY, meaning the largest catch that can be safely taken year after year and which maintains the fish population size at maximum productivity).
MEPs ensured that €520 million - a considerable increase over the original Commission proposal - of the EMFF budget will be earmarked for data collection.
Another negotiating success for Parliament was to require each member state with a significant small-scale coastal fishing fleet to table an action plan setting out a strategy for the development, competitiveness and sustainability of these fisheries, which play a key role in ensuring the vitality of coastal areas.
MEPs also amended the EMFF proposal to allow fishermen under 40 years old to be granted up to €75,000 in individual start-up support if they buy a small-scale and coastal fishing vessel between 5 and 30 years old and have five years' professional experience in the sector.
In addition, Parliament added EMFF support for withdrawing, replacing or modernising engines for vessels up to 24 metres long, including an requirement for those of 12-24 metres that the new engine's power output be less than that of the engine it replaces. However, an amendment to reintroduce fleet renewal subsidies was rejected.
To give effect to Parliament's agreement with the Council on the forthcoming CFP, which obliges member states to set sustainable fishing quotas from 2015 and introduces a ban on discarding unwanted fish, the EMFF will help fishermen to comply with the new rules by supporting investments in more selective fishing gear or equipment to facilitate handling, landing and storage of unwanted catches.
EMFF aid will also be used to improve safety and working conditions, data collection and port infrastructure.
After a plenary vote in October to open negotiations with the Council, the agreement will now be put to a vote in the Fisheries Committee before seeking final approval by the full House in April.
#Angling - More than €400,000 has been made available to conserve and develop Ireland's inland fisheries resource by Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd, as he announced the opening of applications for the 2014 Salmon Conservation Fund(SCF), Midland Fisheries Fund (MFF) and new Co-op Funds.
The three Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) schemes facilitate clubs, fishery owners, commercial salmon fishers and other organisations to undertake works to improve habitat, stocks, access, invasive species management, angling, etc under its supervision and direction.
IFI says these works are important in maintaining and improving capacity within the inland fisheries resource which is estimated to contribute €755 million annually to the Irish economy.
Announcing the schemes, Minister O’ Dowd said: "The inland fisheries sector is fortunate to have such an engaged stakeholder cohort and I am pleased to be able to support IFI in making these funds available to them to allow for ground up, managed sustainable development.
"Unfortunately the Co-op Funds Scheme is only a once-off opportunity, while the other funds will have to be reviewed on an annual basis.
"I encourage all those interested in fisheries to investigate the possibilities under the various schemes to conserve, develop and promote the resources in their care for the betterment of angling, the inland fisheries resource itself and Ireland's economy."
The new Co-op Funds, which will be available for 2014 only, comprise the various funds remitted to IFI on the dissolution of the Trout and Coarse Fish Development Societies. The funds will be distributed back to the regions from which they came. A total of €160,000 is available, with over €130,000 specifically for the old Southern Regional Fisheries Board area.
The Salmon Conservation Scheme is now seven years in existence and has allocated funding to 145 salmon projects all around Ireland. A total of €200,000 is available for distribution under the scheme in 2014.
The Midland Fisheries Fund, which ran as a pilot scheme in 2013, has seen nine projects undertaken in the midland area developing angling resources, supporting scientific research and conserving fisheries habitat. A further €50,000 is available under this scheme for 2014.
#SalmonFund - Angling clubs, commercial fishermen, fishery owners, riparian owners and landowners with an interest in a salmon fishery are invited to submit projects to the Salmon Conservation Fund 2013/14 Contributors Scheme.
An initial fund of €200,000 is available in 2014 for distribution to contributors. Approved project applications may be fully or partly funded. It is envisaged that the fund will be divided between a range of contributors to a guide of €15,000 per project.
The list of what can be funded under the scheme includes:
- Fish passage improvement (eg removal of barriers, modification of weirs, and construction of fish passes, etc)
- Spawning enhancement (addition/raking of gravel or cleaning of existing substrates)
- Instream structures (weirs, deflectors, rubble mats, random boulders, etc)
- River bank protection (rock armour, log revetment etc)
- Fencing (protection of river banks including fences, stiles, cattle drinks, etc)
- Riparian zone improvement (tree pruning and strategic tree planting)
- Removal and control of exotic invasives (eg Rhododendron, Japanese knotweed, Asian clam, chub, etc)
- Feasibility studies (that lead to future projects under the above headings to maximum of 50% funding or €2,000, whichever is less; a maximum of five 5 studies only to be allowed)
For further details on the scheme, how to apply, an application form and more see HERE.
As Build.ie reports, the funding will go towards three schemes to improve marine leisure and tourism infrastructure in Tramore, Abbeyside in Dungarvan and Boatstrand, covering 75% of costs - with the remainder to be sourced by Waterford County Council.
Build.ie has more on the story HERE.
The Midland Fisheries Fund (MFF) was created by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) from angler contributions set aside from the permit income received by IFI in the Midlands Fisheries Group permit area.
This year, funding will be awarded to eight sustainable angling development projects ranging from the development of access for anglers with disabilities to river rehabilitation and provision of shallow water marker buoys on midlands waterways.
IFI said it was thrilled at the great response received to this, the pilot year of the MFF. A wide range of fishery projects were applied for and the top eight proposals will share the available funding of €50,000.
Among the successful applicants were Lough Owel Trout Preservation Association, Kilconnell Community Development Association Ltd, Inny Anglers Development Association, Lough Sheelin Trout Protection Association, Ballinlough and District Angling Club, Pallas Lake Fly Fishing Club and Lough Derravarragh Angling Association.
The MFF is exclusive to the Midland Fisheries Group area and is only open to clubs in that area. This scheme, which is similar in design to the Salmon Conservation Fund, will allow for habitat improvement but importantly also includes angling development projects.
The successful applicants will be provided with technical assistance to help their projects become a reality.
"This fund reaffirms IFI’s objective to facilitate stakeholders to undertake sustainable development works," said Fergus O’Dowd, Minister of State with responsibility for Natural Resources. "These works will enhance and improve fisheries habitats and angling tourism potential and the contribution the inland fisheries resource makes to the economy.
"This scheme encapsulates the partnership approach between IFI and its stakeholders, ensuring projects are environmentally sustainable, undertaken with the appropriate permissions and guidance and developed by local angling clubs for the benefit of locals and tourists alike."
IFI chief Ciaran Byrne added: "It was clear from the large number of applications we received that anglers in the Midland Fisheries Permit Area are very keen to invest these funds, created from angler contributions, back into these fisheries.
"I’m very happy with the wide range of successful projects this year and wish the clubs all the best with their development work."
#MarineScience - Applications are now being invited under EUROFLEETS2, an EU-funded project providing scientists with 200 fully funded days of ship-time and 104 fully funded days of marine equipment to carry out ship-based research activities within any field of marine sciences.
EUROFLEETS2 - which had its kick-off meeting gathering more than 60 marine scientists and fleet operators in April this year - aims to bring together the European research fleets to enhance their co-ordination and promote the cost effective use of their facilities.
The Marine Institute’s research vessels, the RV Celtic Explorer and the RV Celtic Voyager, are both available to researchers through the EUROFLEETS ship-time call. Irish researchers can apply for ship-time on these and other European vessels participating in EUROFLEETS2.
EUROFLEETS2 invites applications for the following marine research funding opportunities:
Super-Integration: This call seeks to fund a truly cross-cutting proposal, multidisciplinary, multiyear and/or multiplatform, which needs to mobilise a combination of EUROFLEETS Research Vessels (RVs) together with other appropriate scientific tools like nationals RVs, research planes or onshore infrastructures with their own EC or national funding. All EUROFLEETS RVs and equipment are available for this call. More information at www.eurofleets.eu/np4/59
Embarked Equipment: This call offers fully funded marine equipment time within participating scientific marine equipment (two 3D HD TV cameras, two ROVs and the sea floor drill rig MARUM-Mebo) to be deployed from RVs or from underwater vehicles funded by other sources than EUROFLEETS2. More information at www.eurofleets.eu/np4/60
The application deadline for both funding opportunities is 16 September 2013.
EUROFLEETS2 is a Research Infrastructures project under the seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission. For more information and eligibility criteria visit www.eurofleets.eu.
The news comes in the wake of a groundbreaking deal signed in Galway on Friday afternoon (24 May) between the EU, the US and Canada to join forces on Atlantic Ocean research, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
All partners have agreed to commit to funding to study the interplay of the Atlantic with the Arctic Ocean, and discover ways that research on the oceans and marine wildlife can contribute to scientific advances in other areas.
Meanwhile, a monitoring system for waste waters is among the projects that will benefit from a near €1 million in funding from the Science Foundation.
Research Minister Seán Sherlock announced the funding for projects at NUI Galway that is hoped to deliver "commercialisation of research in a range of areas".
#InlandWaterways - Minister Fergus O'Dowd today (3 May) helped launch a new pilot scheme by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) through which angling clubs and organisations can access funding to undertake sustainable development works in the Midland Fisheries Group permit area.
The Midland Fisheries Fund has an initial allocation of €50,000 which has been created from angler contributions set aside from the permit income received by IFI in the Midlands Fisheries Group area. The scheme, which is similar in design to the Salmon Conservation Fund, will allow for habitat improvement but importantly also includes angling development projects in Midlands waterways.
Successful applications will be provided with technical assistance to help them become reality and will foster links between the fishery owners, State agencies and land owners.
The application process itself, says IFI, "will instill confidence in project promoters who are often apprehensive due to the complicated nature of forms and permissions".
The scheme is exclusive to the Midland Fisheries Group area and is only open to clubs in that area.
Minister O'Dowd said at the launch: "This fund reaffirms IFI’s objective to facilitate stakeholders to undertake sustainable development works. These works will enhance and improve fisheries habitats and angling tourism potential and the contribution the inland fisheries resource makes to the economy."
The minister - who is currently undertaking a public consultation around the country in relation to the review of fisheries legislation - said he was encouraged by the angling stakeholders' enthusiasm, knowledge and interest in protecting, managing and developing the resource.
"This scheme encapsulates the partnership approach between IFI and its stakeholders, ensuring projects are environmentally sustainable, undertaken with the appropriate permissions and guidance and developed by local angling clubs for the benefit of locals and tourists alike," he said.
An information evening on the Midland Fisheries Fund will take place in Lough Owel Angling Centre on 14 May at 6.30pm.
Application forms for the fund are available online HERE. The closing date for receipt of application forms is 15 June 2013.
Meanwhile, the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) has backed an initiative for the Loughs Agency to support the Carlingford Oyster Festival this August.
The Aquaculture and Marine sectoral meeting held in Carlingford this morning was attended by Minister for Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte, NI Minister for Rural Development Michelle O’Neill, Minister Fergus O’Dowd and NI Minister Nelson McCausland, who were all keen to endorse the proposals of the Loughs Agency to support the festival.
Taking place from 8-11 August, the festival has been developed by the Carlingford Cooley Tourism Association as a family-oriented event that showcases locally produced oysters and seafood. The agency will work in partnership with the local festival organisers on the annual event which attracts large numbers of visitors to the Carlingford area.
Minister O'Dowd said the festival “offers a real opportunity to showcase local produce and bring an international focus on Carlingford Lough as a production area of distinction for excellence seafood."
The ministers were also keen to emphasise that the tourism and visitor potential of the lough area should also benefit from a strong and vibrant oyster festival featuring as an attractive occasion on tourism and event calendars across the island and internationally.
“This funding will allow essential works at these regional harbours on piers, walls and harbour structures," said the minister. "This work is necessary as part of their transfer from central Government to local authority control.
Minister Varadkar added: "The large-scale safety or construction projects planned for Kinsale, and for Baltimore & Skibbereen Harbour this year will be able to go ahead thanks to this funding. Smaller scale projects at other harbours can also proceed, including essential works at Arklow Harbour.”
The funding has been allocated to the following harbours:
Arklow - €3,588,000
Baltimore & Skibbereen - €1,165,000
Bantry Bay - €100,000
Kinsale - €1,467,000
Tralee & Fenit - €750,000
Wexford - €329,500
The funding has been concentrated on remedial works to ensure that the harbours are in a fit condition during their transfer to local authority control.
Twelve of the 13 regional harbours have transferred to date, with 11 being taken over by local authorities, and one designated a fisheries harbour.