International SmartOcean Graduate Enterprise Initiative
Marine ICT is a multi-disciplinary area that encompasses industry players with activities across the traditional ICT and high tech marine products and services sector. Technology convergence and integration is a key theme with a need for multidisciplinary skill sets and expertise in the application of specialist tools from software design, sensor hardware, control and interface systems through to advanced visualization and forecast models. Specialist marine ICT tools are currently deployed across a range of global marine related markets including: Environmental Monitoring; Security; Oil & Gas; Transport & Shipping; Aquaculture and Coastal Tourism with new opportunities identified in the emerging areas of Marine Renewable Energy, Water Management.
Over the last 2 years the Marine Institute has coordinated a detailed Industrial consultation and analysis of current capacity in the area of Marine Monitoring and ICT. This work has identified over 50 companies based in Ireland actively engaged in the provision of Hi Tech Marine ICT Products and Services to global markets supported by a range of academic centres of excellence and public bodies including the Marine Institute, Enterprise
Ireland and the IDA.
The SmartOcean Strategylaunched by the Marine Institute in 2010, articulates a vision to establish Ireland as a world leader in the development and deployment of specialist ICT enabled decision support tools for the Global Marine Sector. The strategy outlines the current capacity, opportunities and next steps for further development of Ireland's SmartOcean 'ICT for the Sea' Cluster focused on the delivery of Hi Tech Marine Products and Services to Global Marine Markets. The SmartOcean Strategy identified nine key actions required to support the development of the SmartOcean Innovation Cluster. A SO Strategy Working Group has been meeting quarterly for the last year to develop these actions. Of the nine actions, Action 4, focusing on Industry-Academic Collaborations, specifically identifies the need to Engage in active brokerage of industry-academic collaborations in convergent technology arenas capitalizing on significant public investments to date and integrating g the SME and MNC research base.
A key recommendation under this action includes the need to initiate an innovative International SmartOcean Graduate Enterprise Initiative (ISGEI) designed to catalyse convergence opportunities and to achieve mobility between research institutes and industry.