Marine start-ups ahoy as The Entrepreneur Ship sets sail in Cork

5 Oct 2015

A new innovation space for marine-oriented start-ups, The Entrepreneur Ship, has been opened at the harbour in Ringaskiddy, Cork.

The new co-creation space aims to capitalise on opportunities in the blue economy.

“The government has ambitious plans to grow Ireland’s marine economy to maximise the potential of our vast marine resources,” Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney TD said.

“Business incubators, accelerators, and co-creation spaces have been proven to support and fast-track start-up companies seeking to exploit emerging market opportunities. The Entrepreneur Ship is the first dedicated marine innovation centre in Ireland providing companies with access to an ecosystem of world-class training, talent, research and test bed facilities through the IMERC partners in Cork.”

This unique space will provide new and existing companies in the maritime sector with the supports that they need to grow and innovate. I am delighted to officially open it today,” he added.

Explosion of new ideas and technologies in Cork

Companies based in The Entrepreneur Ship are located in the IMERC Cluster in Lower Cork Harbour, adjacent to the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI), the Irish Defence Forces Naval Base and University College Cork’s new Beaufort building, which houses the MaREI Research Centre and the LIR National Ocean Test Facility.

“The Entrepreneur Ship is a place of convergence between entrepreneurial talent and the explosion of new ideas and technologies coming from areas such as robotics, big data, biotechnology, power generation, cyber security, unmanned systems, and power storage as they relate to our ocean and energy systems,” said Val Cummins, director of IMERC.

“The objective is to grow this enterprise dimension to add to the critical mass of training, research and naval expertise already in the cluster.”


Dr Val Cummins, director of IMERC

A number of exciting start-ups, as well as established international companies, are already availing of the facilities and supports at the new maritime innovation centre.

This is in addition to the success of the Science Foundation Ireland MaREI Centre in collaborating with 50 industry partners in the research and development space.

DARE Technology, an innovative engineering start-up specialising in marine renewable energy, is already located on The Entrepreneur Ship.

Supported by the LEO (Local Enterprise Office) and designated by Enterprise Ireland as a High Potential Startup, DARE is developing a wind turbine for marine vessels that has the potential to remove up to one million tonnes of C02 from the atmosphere each year.

“Another start-up, Exceedence– a UCC/MaREI spinout – has developed software that will provide financial analytics solutions to developers in the marine renewables sector,” said Martin Wall, manager of The Entrepreneur Ship.

A third start-up, UAV Evolution, is developing a un-piloted aircraft that will support offshore activities in some of the harshest conditions on the planet. In fact, they have recently attracted substantial funding from overseas investors to further develop and commercialise this aircraft, Wall added.

These companies are located in the same space as Black & Veatch, a large engineering multinational company with over 10,000 employees worldwide, who this year opened two offices in Ireland – one in The Entrepreneur Ship and the other in Dublin – to strengthen its support for Ireland’s water and energy sectors.

It was also announced that Resolute Marine Ltd won the IMERC Innovator of the Year Award with their desalination technology. Resolute are a virtual member of The Entrepreneur Ship community.

Dr Karen Twomey, Tyndall National Institute, was announced as the runner up.

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