Ireland extends marine R&I strategy consultation

Illustration/Sea Power WEC (Photo: Marine Ireland)

The deadline for comments on a new plan setting out Ireland’s Marine Research & Innovation Strategy for the period 2016 – 2021 has been extended until the end of this year.

The draft strategy, prepared by the Marine Institute of Ireland, provides a unified view of the marine related funding requirements across a range of societal challenges such as transport, food, energy and biodiversity.

The strategy has been developed following detailed review of marine research performance in Ireland, as well a review of the major policy and sectoral drivers, according to Marine Ireland, which has invited the public to submit its views on the strategy by the extended deadline of December 30, 2016.

When it comes to offshore renewables, including tidal and wave, Marine Ireland’s draft strategy proposes focusing the funding on a research project of significant scale, aimed at providing a stable research leadership in Ireland.

Also, the draft document states that a suitably designed Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) initiative, leveraging the LIR and Galway Bay facilities, would attract inward investment and potentially position Ireland as a world-leading hub for the deployment of marine renewable energy technologies and services.

In the draft strategy, Marine Ireland also notes that the demonstration projects and the opportunities arising from them could be attracted with a flexible approach to capital grants and feed-in tariffs.

Marin Ireland added that a review of the implementation of the IP protocols, providing access to finance suitable for new enterprises, and supporting innovation in established businesses in the core marine renewables sectors is required to ensure sufficient industry strength to lead the research agenda in research teams and centers.

Peter Heffernan, Marine Institute CEO, said: “We’ve chosen to make the document available to as wide an audience as possible through public consultation in the spirit of engaging with the sea, a key goal of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, Ireland’s integrated marine plan. We hope that as many people as possible will contribute to the consultation process.”

The goal of the strategy is to raise the research capacity across a number of identified themes and to ensure that funding is targeted to match requirements highlighted in state policies and sectoral plans, while the public consultation aims to collect views and opinions on the strategy, scope, objectives, and expected impacts of the strategy.

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