The launch of a major maritime and energy resource cluster on November 25th 2011 by An Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny, will affect the transformation of the future development of Ireland as a maritime nation. The Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC) is a tripartite alliance between University College Cork (UCC), Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the Irish Naval Service (INS). The IMERC vision is to become a research and commercial cluster of world standing, by realising Ireland’s potential in the maritime and energy markets of tomorrow.
Speaking at the launch, An Taoiseach commended all those involved from UCC, CIT and the Irish Naval Service for their vision in developing a new research and commercial campus in Ringaskiddy Co. Cork. The initial phase will see the delivery of 70 new research jobs by 2014, with industry suites, incubation units and enterprise centres to be developed as part of an extended campus adjacent to the NMCI by 2016.
Enda Kenny, An Taoiseach explains: “IMERC is an initiative that demonstrates the ability of our public institutions to respond to the national interest. IMERC is characterised by the way that these three institutions are mobilising their best minds to focus on new research and economic opportunities for maritime Ireland.”
Dr Val Cummins, IMERC Director explains: “The aim of IMERC is to promote Ireland as a world-renowned research and development location that will unlock Ireland’s maritime and energy potential. The creation of research posts will require a close working relationship with state agencies such as the IDA and Enterprise Ireland, and support from local bodies such as Port of Cork and Cork County Council”. According to Dr Cummins “the Taoiseach’s endorsement of IMERC is testimony to the national interest which IMERC aims to serve. This boils down to developing an environment where innovation can take place, creating new ideas, ventures, and jobs in support of the maritime economy of Ireland”.
Also at the launch, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Mr Simon Coveney, stated that: “IMERC is an engine for economic growth, both for Cork and for the country as a whole. A unique aspect of IMERC is the involvement of the Irish Naval Service, which provides expertise, equipment and infrastructure in support of SMEs and new commercial ventures. This critical mass will be brought to bear on the realisation of the IMERC strategy, which will see the integration of industry partners across all IMERC activities”.
The IMERC Strategy 2011-2016, describes the plans in detail, and can be accessed from the website www.imerc.ie