The new National Marine Research & Innovation Strategy 2017-2021 aims to fulfil the need for a strategic marine research agenda to promote cross-agency collaboration.
Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, welcomed the new strategy during SeaFest 2017, Ireland’s national maritime festival, at the Our Ocean Wealth Summit on 30 June — at which it was announced that Ireland’s ‘blue economy’ is outperforming the general economy.
The strategy was prepared by the Marine Institute on behalf of the Marine Coordination Group (MCG), and supports the implementation of Innovation 2020, Ireland’s national research and innovation strategy, which identifies the marine sector as one of eight areas of focus for social progress and the economy.
Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan, said: “This new strategy follows on from Sea Change, the last national marine research strategy published in 2007, and will help ensure that Ireland maintains its position at the forefront of marine research in Europe.
“This strategy will ensure that the outputs of new research and innovation will support Ireland’s quest to generate real socio-economic benefits by reaching the 2020 target of a €6.4bn ocean economy in a sustainable manner.”
The strategy provides a framework for research funders to assess the impact and likely return to the state from research investment in marine-related research themes.
It is also designed to ensure that state support of marine research results in Irish researchers being able to compete at an international level and participate fully in transnational research projects.
Welcoming the publication of the strategy on behalf of the board of the Marine Institute, chair John Killeen said: “We look forward to it informing the institute’s own investments, including our plans to co-fund with other government agencies and departments on projects in a range of marine related research disciplines.”