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IMERC (the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster) at Ringaskiddy has received an Excellence Award from An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny at Dublin Castle today. It is among 20 projects that have been singled out for demonstrating innovation and excellence across the full breadth of State services. This is the first time a maritime project has featured on the awards list since the awards started in 2004 and it was selected from 190 applications.
The award to IMERC emphasises the sea change underway in Ireland concerning an awareness of the value and economic potential of Ireland’s marine resources. IMERC is a unique tripartite alliance between the Irish Naval Service (INS), University College Cork (UCC) and the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT). It seeks to harness and integrate public sector and industry expertise to develop the Cluster and to realise the potential of emerging economic sectors, including the nascent ocean energy sector.
IMERC is being recognised by An Taoiseach as a unique example of joined-up-thinking across three public sector institutions, the results of which, have leveraged major capital investment, succeeded in attracting inward investment, supported indigenous industry and enhanced capacity for research and innovation in Ireland’s maritime sector.
Dr Valerie Cummins, IMERC Director, who accepted the award on behalf of UCC, CIT and INS stated that the award is an acknowledgement of the hard work, leadership and talent of the researchers, naval service personnel, trainers, educators, agency and industry stakeholders in IMERC. She also acknowledged the progress underway in government departments including marine, energy, defence, education and enterprise, in framing the policy environment to encourage further maritime innovation and job creation.
The extended maritime campus under development in Ringaskiddy Cork Harbour builds on the infrastructure already in place with the National Maritime College of Ireland and the Irish Naval Service Headquarters and Dockyard. IMERC is addressing this by building on existing government investment to develop a research and commercial location of world standing.
University College Cork is constructing the Beaufort Laboratory on an adjacent site. Upon completion in autumn 2013, this will be the world’s largest marine renewable energy research facility, supporting a trajectory of growth in development of a sector that could yield up to 52,000 jobs from wave energy for Ireland by 2030. Industry suites will be incorporated for the growing number of commercial enterprises attracted to the location,
and the spin out companies that are beginning to emerge. According to Dr Cummins, “the clustering of IMERC’s component infrastructure in one of the world largest natural harbours represents an awakening by Ireland’s maritime community to its natural home.”
For further information, contact: Valerie Cummins, PhD, IMERC Director, Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster, Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork, Ireland; Landline: + 353 21 4335715; Mobile: +353 87 2308965; www.imerc.ie , Skype: vcummins24.
June 21st 2012
Caption Dr VAl Cummins, Director of IMERC
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