Marine Institute to bring ?17.4m and over 150 jobs to Galway
Marine Institute to bring 17.4m and over 150 jobs to Galway
Galway stands to gain up to EUR 17.4 million annually from the Marine Institute's move west. The Institute has taken up temporary residence in Galway Technology Park, while work on the new headquarters and laboratories in Oranmore is due to commence this summer. Seventy staff are now employed at the Marine Institute's interim facility, and this will increase to over 150 on completion of the new facility in Oranmore. Marine Technical & Development Services Ltd (MTDS), the company responsible for the staffing and management of the Marine Institute's research vessels, have doubled their staff since the arrival of the Celtic Explorer in Galway from 22 to 45. Other Galway service providers such as builders, estate agents, banks, crèches also stand to benefit from increased business as a result of Marine Institute's move West.
The Celtic Explorer, national research vessel (RV) arrived into Galway Harbour just before New Years Eve 2002 and will be commissioned on April 11th at Galway docks. The new vessel will serve as a platform for deep-sea research and heralds a new era in marine science for Ireland. The RV Celtic Explorer designed for deep-sea research will complement the RV Celtic Voyager ideally suited to coastal research. Both vessels are owned and managed by the Marine Institute on behalf of the state and will be based at Galway Harbour, which will also provide a range of support services to the Marine Institute fleet.
The Celtic Explorer is currently undergoing a 'shakedown period' during which sea trials, installation and testing of equipment is being undertaken. Following the commissioning on the 11th April the vessel will set to work collecting data for the National Seabed Survey mapping project. This survey is a multimillion Euro initiative supported by the Irish government, which will provide 3D baseline maps of Ireland's extensive offshore territory and is one of the worldsE largest and most ambitious surveys. It is being undertaken by Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) and the Marine Institute.
The delivery of the custom built multi-purpose RV Celtic Explorer, together with the development of the new headquarters in Oranmore fills an 80-year gap in national marine research capacity. Ireland has a vast and largely unexplored marine resource, valued at over EUR 1billion, and covering 220 million acres -- more than ten times its land area. The resource is having a growing impact on the Irish economy, employing more than 32,000 people at present. Dr. Peter Heffernan, CEO Marine Institute says: "For the first time ever, Ireland has the infrastructure and experienced people to fully explore the potential of its marine resource. Internationally too, Ireland is now recognised as a key player in international deep-sea research and this opens up significant opportunities for collaborative research and cooperation with our European and international counterparts."
The West of Ireland, and Galway in particular, is fast becoming an international centre of excellence for marine research, technology, development and innovation. Among the services provided by the Marine Institute from Galway include marine food safety, environmental monitoring, marine fisheries, services to aquaculture, NDP administration and industry liaison, research vessel operations, the national seabed survey, marine technology, marine tourism & leisure, marine data and information services. The Marine InstituteEs new location on the Western seaboard will bring greater opportunity for close cooperation with industry along the coast as well as third level institutes such as the Martin Ryan Institute of Marine Science at NUI Galway, and the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology.