Seven marine tech projects win funding for Galway Bay testing

Galway Daily news Seven projects awarded funding for Galway Bay testing

Galway’s Marine Institute has awarded funding to seven projects by universities, institutes of technology, and private enterprises testing marine technology in Galway Bay.

The Marine Institute issued an open call to academia and industry to apply for the National Infrastructure Access Programme to test their technology at the SmaryBay facilities in Galway Bay.

The Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and NUI Galway were both among the successful applicants for funding from the Marine Institute.

NUIG is testing ‘Wave Resource Characterisation’ at the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site off the coast of Spiddal.

While GMIT is carrying out ‘Environmental DNA/RNA metabarcoding for monitoring marine biodiversity’ which will pay particular attention to invasive species in the bay.

The awardees will each receive approximately €25,000 worth of support per project to trial and validate their technology and/or gain access to the relevant data feeds to carry out scientific research at the SmartBay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site.

Other institutes which will be carrying out research and testing in Galway Bay under this round of funding include DCU, Sligo IT, Queen’s University Belfast, Dundalk IT, and Danalto Ltd.

These awards will see organisations deploy equipment on the test site, connect to and access the underwater observatory, and analyse the many data feeds which are collected on site every day.

The SmartBay test site, is Ireland’s national marine and renewable energy test and demonstration facility.

CEO of the Marine Institute Dr Peter Heffernan said that the NIAP offers a great opportunity for academia and businesses to benefit from the use world class facilities in Galway Bay.

This will enable them to “prove novel technologies through deployments in real-sea conditions” he said.

Over the past seven years more than 50 projects have been awarded funding for testing in Galway under the NIAP.

The full list of projects which received funding in the 2018/2019 open call and details of what they are developing is:

Lead Organisation
Project Title
Dublin City University
Demystifying the Ocean through Underwater Video Analysis: marine life activity detection, classification and indexing for the SmartBay ocean observation platform.
Sligo Institute of Technology
A Small Waterplane Area Twin Hulled (SWATH) Tide Buoy with Real-time Kinematic (RTK) positioning for Accurate (centimetre level) Tide Gauge Calibration.
Queen’s University Belfast
Can introduced marine infrastructure enhance the conservation of vulnerable species?
Dundalk Institute of Technology
Wave parameter estimation from oscillating water column pressure signal – Phase 2 Electronic optimisation of the WASP
Galway Mayo Institute of Technology
Environmental DNA/RNA metabarcoding for monitoring marine biodiversity in Galway Bay, with particular attention to marine Invasive Alien Species
Danalto Ltd
LoRaC2.4 – A geolocation technology for the marine environment
NUI Galway
Wave Resource Characterisation at the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site

The first of these projects are now preparing for deployment and testing over the coming months.