Press Release 10 Nov 2016

IDA Ireland, the Irish government agency responsible for foreign direct investment, announced today that the Irish Marine Cluster has been presented with the International Maritime Partner Award. Ireland was recognized by San Diego-based non-profit industry association The Maritime Alliance (TMA) at the annual Blue Tech & Blue Economy Summit in San Diego. 

The Irish Marine Cluster was selected for the International Maritime Partner award for their global leadership and activism in promoting advanced maritime research and maritime technology, including Ireland’s blue technology research and development capabilities, marine investment and the availability of real-world testing environments. Ireland is home to 38 top research centers, including IBM Research - Ireland; Tyndall National Institute; and LERO, the Irish Software Research Centre. In addition, Ireland offers unique “digital oceans” for new forms of marine equipment testing. This testing allows for real-time data gathering and research that will accelerate developments in the marine sector contributing to environmental monitoring, development of ocean energy technologies and marine security. It also provides critical data for oil and wind farm companies. 

A record number of U.S. organizations are making Ireland their EU home, with nine out of the top 10 U.S. technology companies claiming an Irish presence. Organizations including Intel, Apple and Wood Group Kenny have specifically turned to Ireland to conduct R&D in the “blue technology” or marine, maritime and related technology spaces. They are drawn to initiatives such as Ireland’s innovative SmartBay testing facility, also known as the “IoT of the marine,” where surface platforms and a sub-sea cabled observatory allow for the demonstration and validation of new technologies and solutions for marine and related sectors. Users of the facility are empowered to focus on data analysis, device validation and product development, with each project guided from initial concept through to commercialization. 

“The Irish government is dedicated to fueling research in “blue technology” for the development of products and services that support the growing international marine economy,” said Barry O’Dowd, senior vice president of IDA Ireland. “Recognition of Ireland’s dedication to the advancement of the blue tech space by The Maritime Alliance is a tremendous honor and one that validates the advancements driven by Irish research facilities every day.” 

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