Blue economy boost as €2.4m awarded to marine start-ups

15 Jan 2019

Image: © Jesse/

One drop in the ocean economy could have a ripple effect.

12 Irish companies in the marine sector are to benefit from grants of up to €200,000 each, adding up to €2.4m over the next three years.

The investment by the Marine Institute in the 12 industry-led marine projects was announced yesterday (14 January) by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed, TD. The grants are being provided to companies and company-led consortia with universities to support novel research and the development of new technologies in key growth areas such as marine engineering, renewable energy and the blue bio-economy.

‘Indigenous small and medium enterprises are identifying new commercial opportunities across a range of marine sectors which can lead to economic growth and new jobs’

The awards were made under the Marine Research Programme 2014-2020 funded by the Irish Government, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Making waves

Group of people standing on a harbour holding a sign for 2.4 million euros.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed, TD, (centre) with Marine Institute CEO Dr Peter Heffernan and representatives of 12 Irish companies in the marine sector that will receive investment funding totalling €2.4m over three years. Image: Darragh Kane

A diverse range of companies applied to the Marine Institute, following the launch of its industry-led call in May 2018. Awards have been approved for companies operating in a range of marine sectors, including: SolarMarine Energy, Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions, Subsea Micropiles, Marine Materials, Exceedence, W1Da Experience and Resolute Marine.

Bioresources processing company Bio-Marine Ingredients Ireland was awarded funding, while advanced technologies companies Xocean and IDS Monitoring, and marine engineering companies Technology from Ideas and OceanEnergy, were also successful in their funding applications.

“Ireland’s blue economy continues to grow and develop in line with the targets of the national integrated marine plan, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth,” Creed explained.

“Indigenous small and medium enterprises are identifying new commercial opportunities across a range of marine sectors which can lead to economic growth and new jobs. These industry-led awards provide the opportunity for companies to build their R&D capacity and to innovate towards new products and processes.”

The total grant aid funding awarded was €2,384,929.

Grant winners

Project title Lead organisation  Project partners Total project funding awarded Main research theme (National Marine R&I Strategy)
Development of marine functional food to support muscle health and healthy ageing in older adults Bio-Marine Ingredients Ireland Dublin City University and University of Limerick €200,000 Bioresources: Processing for Food and Other Use
AquaMoor Technology From Ideas Not Applicable €199,960 Bioresources: Aquaculture
A Morphodynamic Study of the Irish Sea Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions University College Cork €199,957 Renewable Energy
Development of the Next-Generation Fisheries Surveys Using a ‘Swarm’  of Unmanned Surface Vessels Xocean Not Applicable €199,739 Advanced Technologies
Floating Solar Hybrid Energy Project SolarMarine Energy University College Cork €195,465 Renewable Energy
Eureka-SeaWind: A Lighter, More Cost-Effective Solution For Floating Offshore Wind Marine Materials Ireland Not Applicable €199,816 Renewable Energy
The IDS Smart Buoy Project IDS Monitoring Not Applicable €196,275 Advanced Technologies
OWSC – Designing for Manufacture, Deployment, Operation, Maintenance and Decommissioning Resolute Marine Not Applicable €199,955 Renewable Energy
Development of Micropile Technology for Subsea Environment Subsea Micropiles Not Applicable €199,902 Renewable Energy
1kW Inline Gator – Aquaculture Application Exceedence Technology From Ideas €199,532 Renewable Energy
Engineering Advanced Materials for Marine Energy and Aquaculture Applications Ocean Energy NUI Galway €195,565 Engineering
Marine EcoPowa Project W1Da Experience University College Cork and University of Southampton €198,763 Renewable Energy


John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years