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Marine Innovation Centre Nua na Mara Set up by Údarás na Gaeltachta in Conamara

5th February 2022
Údarás na Gaeltachta and a number of stakeholders secured €2m in funding in 2018 under the Rural Economic Development Fund (REDF) via Enterprise Ireland to establish Nua na Mara
Údarás na Gaeltachta and a number of stakeholders secured €2m in funding in 2018 under the Rural Economic Development Fund (REDF) via Enterprise Ireland to establish Nua na Mara

Nua na Mara is the name of a marine innovation development centre established in Conamara by state agency Údarás na Gaeltachta.

Based in the State agency’s G-teic hub in Carna, Co Galway, Nua na Mara will provide “specialist training and business development supports”, it says.

Údarás na Gaeltachta and a number of stakeholders secured €2m in funding in 2018 under the Rural Economic Development Fund (REDF) via Enterprise Ireland to establish it.

Nua na Mara will be a “key element” of the agency’s Páirc na Mara project – which received a planning setback last autumn.

The centre will provide 1,800 square metres of enterprise and incubation space for marine enterprises, the State agency says.

It will function as a “champion for marine product commercialisation”, and will “bridge the gap in linking innovation, application, concepts, and commercialisation”, Údarás na Gaeltachta says.

It says the centre will “integrate and build on the world-class research, testing and enterprise development facilities for the marine sector provided by GMIT and NUI Galway”.

“ It will also coordinate collaborative programming of specialist supports and development interventions to be jointly implemented by BIM, the Marine Institute, the Education and Training Boards, Skillsnet and other regional stakeholders,” it says.

“We are delighted to establish Nua na Mara to bring the marine sector to another level in terms of commercialisation by facilitating research, testing and enterprise development within the sector whilst also ensuring sustainability,” Údarás na Gaeltachta chief executive Micheál Ó hÉanaigh said.

“ Despite the delay with the Páirc na Mara initiative, innovative concepts and developments can progress, particularly in light of the recent announcement of the development of a deepwater berth at Ros an Mhíl harbour - ensuring that Gaeltacht areas on the west coast are not lagging behind in terms of marine commerce” he said.

A business development manager, Cliodhna Ní Ghríofa, has been appointed recently to work on development of Nua na Mara, dedicated to “supporting businesses, start-ups, innovators and researchers looking to innovate in the marine sector in the Gaeltacht”, the agency says.

Further information regarding Nua na Mara can be received by contacting Clíodhna Ní Ghríofa at [email protected]

Published in Marine Science
Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.


At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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