GMIT and BlueWise Marine Sign Strategic Partnership…

GMIT and BlueWise Marine sign strategic partnership to support developments in the marine and offshore renewable energy sectors

Photo: Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start-Up company, BlueWise Marine, based in GMIT iHub

BlueWise Marine and Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) have formed a strategic partnership to collaborate on projects that support the development of innovative scientific solutions for the marine and Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) sectors, utilising national infrastructures and capabilities to support innovation and the commercialisation of novel products and services.

BlueWise Marine, an Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start-Up Company (HPSU) based in the GMIT iHub Galway, specialises in providing infrastructure, project, marketing, advisory and funding support services for marine and offshore renewable energy projects and initiatives. The company will work with academics in GMIT’s Marine and Freshwater Research Centre (MFRC) which houses over 70 researchers, including academic staff, post-doctoral and postgraduate researchers who collaborate widely with industry, state agencies and academic partners to conduct applied research that is policy-relevant, developing innovative solutions to natural resource management challenges and supporting evidence-based decision making.

BlueWise Marine has identified immediate industry needs within the ORE sector. Presently, MFRC scientists are assisting BlueWise Marine to demonstrate the use of autonomous solutions for surveying seabirds and marine mammals using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), with funding received through an Enterprise Ireland innovation voucher.

Initiatives to support the co-location of habitat restoration (such as biogenic reefs: mussels and native oysters), conservation and aquaculture activities in licensed renewable energy sites and cable routes are also under investigation.

Both teams are co-developing use cases for the use of eDNA molecular-based biodiversity monitoring tools for ORE developments.

John Breslin, Managing Director, BlueWise Marine, says: “Since locating our offices within the GMIT Innovation Hub we have been able to benefit from access to state-of-the-art office facilities and co-working spaces and, most importantly, an extensive innovation ecosystem within the wider GMIT campus. We are delighted that this MOU galvanises this collaboration and allows our team to access a broad spectrum of scientific expertise and experience within GMIT and MFRC, to help us to prove and develop novel applications for the marine and ORE sectors.

Dr Rick Officer, Vice President, Research and Innovation, GMIT, says: “Offshore Renewable Energy is a crucial element of Ireland’s shift towards sustainable, decarbonised energy production. GMIT is committed to playing its part in addressing the challenges of ORE development, and to realising the many opportunities that will arise from it. Our strategic partnership with BlueWise Marine will really accelerate that ambition. Together we will focus our activities on initiatives of high impact and importance.