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 Plan, Harnessing 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.”