Ireland triples EU funding for marine research

Marine Institute chief executive welcomes support for “blue growth”

The Marine Institute headquarters

The Marine Institute headquarters

 

Irish marine researchers have multiplied their normal EU support for “blue growth” projects, according to the Marine Institute.

Irish projects have secured €5.5 million in the latest EU Horizon 2020 funding round. “This is three times the average expected win rate for Irish science across the board,” said Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan.

The institute says grant aid represents 5 per cent of the total “blue growth” allocation in the EU programme, and 4.7 per cent of the overall Horizon awards.

“Ireland’s marine researchers are performing really well, with 12 out of 36 projects with Irish partners funded, and a further 15 qualifying to be considered for funding,” Dr Heffernan said.

“This shows that marine science is being carried out to the highest standards,” he said, and proves that the Government’s marine strategy, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, is “paying dividends”.

Seabed mapping

This initiative was underpinned by the so-called Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Co-operation, signed by the EU, US and Canadian governments at the Marine Institute in May last year.

Ireland has already considerable expertise in seabed mapping through the national mapping programme known as Infomar, which the institute has carried out in partnership with the Geological Survey of Ireland, Dr Heffernan noted.

Universities, State agencies and small and medium enterprises will benefit from the funding round, he said.