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Since its founding 20 years ago, the Marine Institute of Ireland has played a role that straddles the realms of marine science and economic development. The Institute, working to define and drive innovation as part of Ireland’s Sea Change initiative, has partnered with organizations across the public and private sector to support research and business development for the Irish and international marine communities. Initiative’s like “SmartBay” in Galway catalyze the exchange of innovative ideas to bring forth a multi-stakeholder “blue economy.”
Irish Marine Institute Headquarters in Rinville, Oranmore, County Galway
Copyright: Irish Marine Institute
The Marine Institute is Ireland’s national agency responsible for Marine Research, Technology Development and Innovation (RTDI). Our headquarters are located on the shore of Galway Bay on the west coast of Ireland. With approximately 200 employees, our aim is to:
- Assess and realize the economic potential of Ireland's 220 million acre marine resource—an area over ten times the size of Ireland
- Promote the sustainable development of marine industry through strategic funding programs and essential scientific services
- Safeguard the marine environment through research and environmental monitoring
- Advocate for Ireland’s maritime community and, more generally, act as an agent of economic development
Our work began as part of a national innovation strategy triggered by economic pressures to develop new markets associated with marine science and an island geography which offered a unique opportunity to bring together organizations large and small. The Marine Institute commissioned the first global market analysis of all marine sectors. The study focused on the crossover between the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector and global market opportunities that addressed commercial, policy and environmental factors. The work was predicated on a sense that there was a real niche opportunity in the ocean space. If the Institute could bring the right players into a trusted environment then new and unexpected opportunities would emerge.
From our initial study we were able to establish an innovation program called Sea Change—a nationally sponsored seven-year (2007 – 2013) marine knowledge, research and innovation strategy for Ireland to help present a national agenda—comprising science, research, innovation and management—aimed at a complete transformation of the Irish maritime economy. To achieve success, Sea Change established an implementation framework consisting of a high-level steering group and external advisory groups—which is managed and coordinated by the Institute.
An example of one of our key initiatives Smart Bay came around 2007 when my colleague Eoin Sweeney went to Newfoundland’s Placentia Bay, which is known for its rich fishery and environmental sensitivity. He was working with scientist counterparts from the local marine institute, along with provincial government officials, on a way to combine sensors and communication technologies to track the ocean’s vital signs. The initiative’s holistic aim was both to protect the region and to provide a broader resource—in the form of usable data— to the stakeholders whose lives revolved around the bay’s maritime economy. This initiative came to be called SmartBay, and he took that idea back across the Atlantic to the shores of Ireland’s Galway Bay.
I’m a firm believer in the potential of the “blue economy,” where a diverse and interlocking network of economic players that rely on the ocean can help set Ireland on an upward trajectory of growth, prosperity, and sustainability. Galway Bay seemed a near-perfect test case of how the principles of SmartBay could help trigger a new growth phase for the region. My team and I envisioned a clear role for the Institute in incubating and jump-starting the innovation cycle required to bring sensor-driven intelligence into Ireland’s blue economy. As a national marine research and innovation agency at the hub of Ireland’s maritime community, the Institute was uniquely positioned to act as a facilitator of collaborative innovation.
Here in Ireland, the Marine Institute is engaged in a wide range of timely projects including marine food safety, fish stock assessment, fish health, marine chemistry, aquaculture, climate change, climate scenario modeling, ocean modeling, deep sea research, seabed mapping, and oceanography. There’s a tremendous opportunity at the intersection of the marine domain and technology. Application of new technologies is paramount to a better understanding of the ocean and its resources. A good example of this is INFOMAR, an extensive seabed mapping project that we have undertaken with the Geological Survey of Ireland. This is one of the largest undertakings of this kind and the mapping information allows us and stakeholders to better carry out marine spatial planning for the management of key resources.
INFOMAR Model Mapping
From a SmartBay perspective, what today’s and tomorrow’s blue economy activities have in common is the degree to which they could all be done better with more information. From commercial fishing and shipping to tourism and offshore oil and gas operations, the vision of an emerging blue economy encompasses a wide range of largely familiar sectors. It also includes an increasing role for ocean-based businesses in their relative infancy, such as deep water aquaculture, or “fish farming,” which represents a growing food source and business opportunity. The west coast of Ireland is constantly pounded by large ocean waves—waves that offer the ability to convert their energy into marketable electric power and have the potential to make Ireland largely energy self-sufficient.
Ireland’s economic cliff has accentuated the new challenge and the essential need to take on the challenge of developing a blue economy. Our financial circumstances have emboldened us to really champion the potential of the Blue Economy as an essential element in Ireland’s economic recovery. Our detailed analysis and engagement of a broad constituency base has made us confident that there is a market to be made as well as a contribution to our understanding of water management at a global level. We have a core mix of national, multi-national and local constituents who are on board and Sea Change and SmartBay initiatives have gained absolute political traction. This is evidenced by the publication (in July 2012) of the Irish Government’s first ever Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland - Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth - which has a target to almost double the turnover of Ireland’s Blue Economy by 2020.
Sea Change Rollout
Phase I: Preparation
As part of a Marine Foresight Publications Series, a number of independent expert reports were commissioned and published in 2004 – 2005.
Phase II: Marine Foresight Exercise
In the spring of 2005, the Marine Institute hosted a series of Marine Foresight Meetings, bringing together 29 international experts and 90 Irish experts—representing the public, academic and commercial sectors—to take a forward look at the opportunities and challenges facing the marine sector and identify future scenarios, objectives and research.
Phase III: Identification of Research Requirements
Building on the scenarios and objectives developed in the foresight process, draft research requirements were identified.
Phase IV: External Stakeholder Consultation
From May 2005 – July 2006, a stakeholder consultation process was initiated following the foresight process that consisted of:
- Interagency meetings to further define and refine research requirements
- Briefings with industry representative groups
- Consultation with third-level institutions
- Stakeholder meeting with over 300 invitees
- Continued consultation with stakeholders throughout 2006
Phase V: Preparation and Launch of Sea Change
The new seven-year strategy for marine research and innovation called Sea Change was launched by the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources in February 2007. Also in 2007, the Institute began its conversations with IBM.
Phase VI: Expanding Research and Resources
In 2008, IBM opened the Center for Advanced Water Management in nearby Dublin.
In 2010 the Smart Bay consortium project receives over €3.8M in Government funding from the Higher Education Authority (HEA – PRTLI program) to establish the test and demonstration platform.
Phase VII: National Movement Toward Ecological Innovation
In late 2012 Science Foundation Ireland recognises the strategic national importance of SmartBay with an award of over €2M to support the deployment of fibre optic cable to the SmartBay / Ocean Energy Test Site in Galway Bay.”
To develop a cluster of key stakeholders, the Institute began with one-on-one conversations—first with those most closely associated with the Institute drawn from an extensive list of both local and multi-national players from government, industry and environmental concerns. From this initial group, the Institute garnered recommendations to engage a broader group of stakeholders. In addition, the Institute commissioned a survey to ensure that other organizations who might be concerned or in adjacent industries not explicitly associated with marine concerns were brought in to the discussions.
Gradually we started to build a community—we invited organizations to join the cluster through open ads on our website. We drafted a position paper to develop a smart, open strategy for this work and then hosted a “smart ocean” workshop, which was nationally sponsored. Participants from diverse groups were introduced to each other and invited to share feedback and ideas, talk about technologies they thought would be critical to progress, discuss their histories and ambitions and, of course, reflect on the draft strategies.
Acting as the “cluster core” public sector broker the Marine Institute took the lead role in drafting a draft Smart Ocean cluster strategy and put this out for general consultation with all the open invitation participants in the initial national workshop – and honed this draft in light of feedback received thought a working group (endorsed by the national workshop participants).
Because of Ireland’s small geographic and political scale, we were able to bring together very diverse interests from those focused on aquaculture and food to those focused on climate change. They came to the Institute to hear directly what we were attempting to do and meet partners who were co-developing the SmartOceanvision. As an example in the private sector, 70 percent of U.S. ICT multi-national companies have a local presence in Ireland. Many were willing to get on board when shown how their core business could “meet the ocean.”
A lot has changed at the Center since the first global market analysis in 2004 – 5. Our Sea Change strategy announced in 2006 led us to engaging with IBM and other multi-national corporations.
The Marine Institute, approached IBM U.S. management about niche water management opportunities. IBM was working on a global market assessment related to water management which dovetailed perfectly with our vision. Similar market opportunity assessments led us to discover that we had arrived independently to the same conclusion—water management was a real market opportunity. This assessment was replicated and validated with other multi-national ICT companies, as well.
Bringing SmartBay to Galway Bay
First, we had the institutional connections within the maritime community that would enable it to bring together key stakeholders from business, academia and government to form a cluster of innovators, each with something to bring to the table. But just having ideas wouldn’t be enough. The team realized that to trigger true innovation within the cluster, we needed an open technical infrastructure to build and test new ways of using the diverse data gathered by ocean-based sensors. The team also recognized the need to establish a set of baseline sensing capabilities for Galway Bay that would serve as a starting point that could be built up over time.
It was 2008 when the realization of our Galway Bay SmartBay vision began in earnest. We adopted a collaborative approach to the development of SmartBay, involving a wide range of stakeholders from the Irish marine community including Bord Iascaigh Mhara (Irish Sea Fisheries Board), commercial fisherman, the Harbour Master of Galway Bay, Irish Water Safety (lifeguards), scientists at Dublin City University’s National Centre for Sensor Research, and wave experts from the Hydraulics and Maritime Research Centre at University College, Cork.
In 2008 IBM established a Global Centre of Excellence for Water Management at its Dublin facility with the support of IDA Ireland. This helped fuel continued work and the development of the Smart Bay Intelligent Operations Center. By March of 2009 working with IBM, we completed the SmartBay pilot information system to monitor wave conditions, marine life and pollution levels in and around Galway Bay.
By July of 2010, the SmartBay project was awarded €3.823 million grant to expand the pilot infrastructure deployed of the west coast of Galway. The SmartBay Consortium bid, led by Dublin City University, included partners NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth and University College Dublin, IBM, Intel and the Marine Institute.
The President of Ireland visited the Institute to learn more about SmartBay and meet with the scientists and administrators involved in 2011.
We continue to see dramatic growth in the number of initiatives, grants and projects coming from the center as well as international recognition with a joint visit in 2011 of two EU Commissioners (for Research Science & Innovation and Maritime Affairs & Fisheries).European policy makers have recently highlighted the importance of this “SmartOcean” approach in the 2012 Green Paper “Marine Knowledge 2020 from seabed sapping to ocean forecasting” Details here.
Prototyping to Promote Progress
One indication of the advanced state of our planning came when IBM, which had been in discussions with the Institute, decided to establish an IBM Center of Excellence for Water Management in nearby Dublin. Soon after, we began working with IBM and a number of other consortium partners from government, business and academia to develop a pilot known as the SmartBay National Research, Test and Demonstration Platform.
Using sensors positioned from the surface to the seafloor, company technicians used readings of wave height, frequency and other parameters. A few kilometers away, the team deployed another buoy to capture a variety of weather data. Together, the network of smart buoys now provides a rich stream of easily accessible data that, by design, represents the building blocks of a host of practical new services for the maritime community.
The National Weather Buoy Network, consisting of five buoys around the Irish coast,
is operated and maintained by the Marine Institute.
Copyright: Irish Marine Institute
Valuable data and information such as undersea maps, water quality, fish populations, or real-time weather and sea state must be available to many different user types. In our case, these users range from scientists to the general public. Our SmartBay Ireland initiative is building out a flexible information technology framework to allow data access and sharing through a consistent portal for all users. Users can not only find and access data, but they can display the data in various ways that suits them best, including geospatial/mapping data. The infrastructure we have developed has supported new sensor development with key universities and startup companies, sustainable ocean energy developers, the commercial fishing industry, and government agencies such as those involved with fisheries management and aquaculture.
Using rapid development techniques and joint Marine Institute and IBM teams, we were able to quickly build prototypes for quick feedback and continued refinement. The initial project was carried out over several years with multiple phases, but we were able to show our stakeholders an operational system with live, sometimes real-time data in less than one year. The benefits of a rapid prototyping process included:
- Instant feedback to keep engagement and ownership alive at each step of the process. It made all the stakeholders see the project as much more real, seeing the fruits of their labor
- A relatively small process chain where there was a good background of personal connectivity that socialized and enhanced business judgment
- Credibility for stakeholders that came from pairing the Institute and IBM—you couldn’t tell the difference between who was with which organization, it was all just one team
- A consistent voice—any member of the team could speak to and was trusted to give the full vision and description of the project
A good example of the rapid prototyping was a flood alert application that was developed with the Harbour Master of Galway Bay. IBM and Marine Institute developers worked to capture and codify the heuristics applied in decision making to predict flood conditions and to consolidate and display real-time and predictive data from multiple sources. Serving a range of stakeholders, the SmartBay Portal is supported by a sensor database that handles data, in many cases real-time, from a distributed sensor network around Ireland that measures a range of physical, chemical, and biological parameters including water quality. The displays are customizable by users and also facilitate direct access to raw data.
The SmartBay Portal (see figure) was presented to generate ideas and the team worked directly with the Harbor Master to develop the application. The prototype was developed quickly and through a few iterations to obtain feedback for refinement, the application was completed. This may be accomplished on a timescale of days or perhaps a week. This rapid development method is effective as it provides a quick path for developers and allows direct, "hands on" involvement with the application by the user. It also provides the stakeholder with the satisfaction of seeing the application come to life in a short period of time--this helps maintain interest and the process minimizes the time investment of the expert/user.
We had to work across these groups, each with their individual requirements, but in the context of a grand strategy. It was important to be able to clearly articulate this strategy in simple terms and to demonstrate key concepts using prototypes. These in turn acted as “innovation catalysts”—once people saw the vision and some demonstration of capabilities, they all had more new ideas.
As with many systems that are collaborative in nature we also saw issues for data sharing. To encourage sharing, we identified the forward thinking stakeholders who understood and supported the strategy—they effectively become advocates and set an example that others could follow—because the benefits were obvious.
In terms of technology, data standards and metadata (data about data) management are critical for success in collaborative systems. At the Marine Institute we have invested early in these areas and the rigor we have applied has helped us move quickly and minimized, if not eliminated, problems people typically encounter such as inconsistencies in data naming, definition, and formats (across organizations and systems).
Offering Solutions to Real-World Problems to Gain Local Support
To solicit additional input on potential new applications, my team’s researchers fanned out to Galway’s maritime stakeholders. When they spoke with the city’s harbormaster in his office on the flood-prone River Corrib, located a short distance from where it flows into Galway Bay, they heard about the pressures he faced during bad weather to assess the risk of flooding for city officials. The harbormaster was forced to balance the risks and costs of false alarms and missed signals. Using the SmartBay portal, the team built a proof-of-concept predictive model that pulled together sensor-based data on tide, rainfall, barometric pressure and wind speed to “score” the risk, and issue a clear “red light/green light” advisory to city officials, thereby reducing the reliance on manual data gathering and gut intuition.
From Galway’s fishermen, my team heard about the navigational hazards of loose, often large objects floating in the bay, whose locations were tracked based on visual sightings and ad hoc, word-of-mouth communications among fishermen. In Galway’s well-connected maritime community, word travels fast. So when a local startup caught wind of the fishermen’s need, its developers used the SmartBay portal’s sensor-driven data feeds to build a predictive tracking model that allows fishermen to report the GIS coordinates of stray objects via a text message, and then applies wind, tide and current data to calculate the most probable projected path for the object—just like meteorologists do with hurricanes.
Gathering Diverse Maritime Communities to Work Together
To my team, these initiatives seemed to affirm the idea that with the right tools and environment, communities like Galway can come together to solve real-world problems. What was needed—and the Newfoundland experience had made it clear—was for us to create an institutional framework to bring together a cluster of common and interlocking interests in the maritime domain. So we took action. First we solicited input from a wide array of stakeholders on what the vision, goals and strategy of this “ocean cluster” should be, thereby creating a firm foundation of consensus. Then we brought them together, literally.
My team envisioned the first SmartOcean working group, convened in 2010, as a way to catalyze the exchange of innovative ideas within the cluster community. We wanted to create a forum for collective brainstorming, while at the same time providing a lot of space for the private, deep-dive conversations that these interactions spawned. Our role is not to guide the direction or content of these exchanges, but to create the conditions for relationships to form and grow within the smart ocean community. Since its forming, the group has grown to roughly 70 organizations, from local entrepreneurs to multinational companies and major Irish universities.
Securing Government Support and Funding
Though a scientist by training, I had to occasionally play the role of salesman, especially when pitching the benefits of belonging to the working group to larger enterprises, ranging from technology providers to oil and gas companies. In each case, it was necessary for the team to adapt the broader smart-ocean message to align with each company’s specific business and industry interests.
The bigger selling challenge, however, was in convincing key members of the government—from agencies to cabinet-level officials—to make the smart ocean program an important research priority for Ireland as a country and to provide funding for additional research and infrastructure. By sharing detailed updates and progress reports that impressed the Irish government, the SmartBay consortium was able to secure a grant of €3.8 million.
The Irish government’s grant of €3.8 million is just one measure of our success. What’s really rewarding is to see the innovation potential of the SmartBay consortium bear fruit. Such as when a Limerick-based company called EpiSensor picked up the idea for a sensor to detect levels of oxygen-depleting phosphates in the ocean, and, in the span of just a year, brought a product to market. SmartBay was founded on the belief that intelligent sensing will provide the key to a new level of understanding of and interaction with Earth’s least explored environment. We see a clear role for collaborative clusters like SmartBay to incubate the innovations that will make this vision a reality.
Data Access Drives Innovation
In the case of SmartBay, we were able to shorten data access times for users and place the stakeholders in control. A good example of this was data from sensors in Galway Bay that was being used for sustainable ocean energy (converting mechanical wave energy to electricity): users went from having to make a data request to the information technology group and waiting a day or two, to having real-time data in a portal that they could visualize in different ways or download with two clicks to a their desktop. In addition, data from different sources such as research projects, are easily accessible to users. So if someone is about to undertake a new project, they are able to find out if any relevant recent data from other studies may be available, including data routinely collected from our research vessels on their voyages. This allows us to leverage the investment and thereby increase the value of our data.
Partnership is Essential to Progress
Because the SmartBay initiative involved multiple participants—Marine Institute as a government agency, IBM as a multinational corporation (MNC), universities (three were involved), and several small/medium enterprises (SMEs)—the outcome was, and continues to be positive to all. This collaborative strategy was by design as we felt that the initiative should be able to serve, and be served by different levels of ecosystem participants. Partners such as the universities and SMEs have benefitted and continue along the SmartBay path in their own ways such as commercializing technologies, developing new IP, and acquiring new funding. We also demonstrated the benefits of public-private partnerships, including their impact on subject matter experts who may not be open to participating. Having an MNC like IBM involved generally lowered their apprehension by knowing that the project would have a larger commercial partner that would help ensure viability and success.
From Marine to Med-Tech
When you think of our challenge, we have to get into the ocean and see it without being physically there. We’ve got to get those sensors fit for task. We have to design a whole new generation of sensors. They’ve got to be able to communicate and operate in hostile—chemically hostile, physically hostile—remote scenarios. When we were having a workshop talking about this, a managing director of a med-tech company said to me, “Well, hold on Peter. You mean you’ve got to put it into a saline environment, it’s going to be pushed around and moved around, it’s got to be able to measure something, it’s got to be able to communicate that remotely, hopefully take a signal and do something. That’s exactly the challenge for my next-generation medical devices. I’m really interested in talking to some of your guys.” These are the opportunities that can happen in a small island such as Ireland.
Form a Grand and Clear Strategy
With such a diverse set of stakeholders, we had to work across these groups, in a way that recognized their individual requirements, but in the context of a grand strategy. It was important to be able to clearly articulate this strategy in simple terms and to demonstrate key concepts using prototypes. These first hand positive experiences in turn acted as “innovation catalysts”—once people saw the vision and some demonstration of capabilities, they all had more new ideas.
We engaged these stakeholders and grew our base from the outset with an open approach that was built on a strong national agenda and backing from within each of their own communities. We used workshops, meetings and peer to peer learning approaches in order to both validate the strategy empirically and on a one to one basis.
Get Everyone Onboard
Being an honest, trusted broker is vital in this equation and this reputation was built through dedicated efforts by the Marine Institute team since its foundation in the early 1990s. The Marine Institute has experience working at the interface between regulation and industry in sectors like fisheries, aquaculture, seafood exporters, shipping and oil and gas. We have a strong track record in the provision of objective scientific advice to Government. Because we understand the drivers that would inform policy decision-making, as well as the private sector’s key concerns and frustrations, we’re in a unique position to work between these sometimes-competing constituencies.
It was key for us to be able to partner both with multi-national corporations and local marine industries and management agencies. We learned that major efforts are required to generate more active engagement of multiple players. The Marine Institute as a trusted state agency played a vital role in building this cluster engagement with large- and small-scale private sector companies, university and state agency researchers, funding agencies and policy makers. The most effective ways for getting people on board are to:
- Reach out to a broad set of national and multi-national groups
- Ensure you include various groups, such as the private sector, local sector and university and research community
- Have teams to work across traditional boundaries so large and small organizations can learn from each other
- Ensure that you have iterative communication that builds on the progress of each stage
- Bring credibility through strong backing and a national agenda
- Break down the stereotypes of government and non-government organizations—having a trusted broker is critical, particularly when getting involved in advising on niche areas of opportunity
- Promote the intrinsic importance of your work
Understand the Global Context
In developing the Smart Bay technology and communications systems we were able to provide a test and demonstration platform for technologies that can help revolutionize our understanding of ocean dynamics and their vital role in the life support system of this planet. When creating new technology solutions to measure in near- or real-time key parameters about the ocean in remote and often hostile environments we are making a significant contribution to a transformational step required to revolutionize our understanding of the interplay between our oceans and the life support system of this planet.
The Institute offers services that include promoting marine research and development, advising the government on such policies and helping to carry them out, assisting the development of Irish shipping and seafarer training, environmental monitoring, food safety and natural resource protection consistent with the Marine Institute Act and other Irish and EU legislation.
The Institute also works with international organizations, including International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), Oslo and Paris Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) and the advisory body on the law of marine scientific research for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Our board includes a wide variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise, with members also holding positions on environmental committees such as the EU Commission’s Aquaculture Advisory Committee, planning and economic development councils and regional maritime boards, as well as leadership and teaching roles at numerous universities.
The strong linkage between national and global concerns allows the Institute to act in a unique role that takes broadly articulated concerns about climate change in the North Atlantic and refine the insights into specific solutions locally. We are living proof that all politics are local but also that local innovation is applicable in a global context as well.
Interlink Local and Global Concerns
By creating a degree of connectedness and tangibility between global concepts such as climate change, sea-level rise, it’s easy to see the local application.
- We have the ability to say that we’re involved in mapping all of the Irish sea territory but can also give specifics as local as Galway Bay with a beautifully illustrated 3-dimensional underwater map integrated with the local terrestrial geography—that’s something that politicians can relate to at a local level.
- We have the ability to take models that are general and as broad as those of the north Atlantic and then create a very local model. If politicians can understand what this means locally and we can answer the questions like, “Why should I be interested?”, “What does this mean?” and “What are the benefits?” then we can take a global issue and make it meaningful.
- Visualization tools are a very important part of this. It’s not today’s 2D models that show the ocean floor, it’s tomorrow’s 3D video that translates into how to to maximise our prior understanding of and preparedness for risks associated with situations like what happened to Staten Island during super storm Sandy.
- We have the ability to have very accurate near-real or real-time data streams that can be made user-friendly to managers interested in marine research, but also in any other sector as well, be that fishing, oil and gas, or the leisure industry.
- Data streams that can come through fiber or through remote wireless are key to making a change—for scientists this means more accurate models and ultimately predictability like forecasting the weather.
- For others, what we’re doing is effectively reducing risk. For example, for anyone insuring marine-dependent industries, we’re making it easier for them to manage risk and significantly increasing catastrophe avoidance.
- Manage the current landscape but also contribute to the creation of an entirely new set of technology enabled services, and the vital role they can play in getting a fit for purpose understanding of the critical role played by our oceans in the life support system of the planet and in so doing dramatically mitigate risk for commercial operators and the environment
- There will inevitably be spin-offs that we haven’t even conceived of—but with real-time streaming data on oceanographic patterns, we can bring this critical data to a risk model turning valuable information into knowledge. I recently –spoke at a green economy conference where there were a broad sector of industry attendees, including bankers interested in the smarter ocean cluster discussions. After the conference it was the insurers who sought me out and wanted to know more about how ocean data would be able to help them in doing risk analysis across industries.
Drive Policy Change with Proof
Seek and design projects that have early “value delivery,” that is, success will feed on the consistent demonstration of milestone attainment. Having to wait a year to see results does not fit today’s business environment. Consistent delivery helps drive momentum and stakeholder enthusiasm—this in turn will help drive further project development and funding, internal or external. In our case, the pathway to generating realistic ocean forecasting capabilities which will be increasingly important in light of climate change scenario and visualization of real time data streams from remote and hostile oceanic environments will greatly aid policy development.
In the case of the SmartBay project itself, we partnered closely with IBM. In addition to key multi-national and state agencies, public researchers and private sector partners, and universities that all served as partners, we would also like to credit:
- Yvonne Shields, Chief Executive at Commissioners of Irish Lights
- Eoin Sweeney, Head of Sustainable Energy Ireland’s Ocean Energy Development Unit
- Michael Gillooly, Director of Ocean Science Services at Marine Institute
- Harry Kolar, IBM Distinguished Engineer - Sensor-Based Solutions
Smarter Planet Leadership Series Irish Marine Institute Case Study PDF
Smarter Planet Leadership Series Irish Marine Institute Case Study [Video]
Dr. Peter Heffernan at IBM Impact 2012 Conference [Video]
Irish Marine Institute Website
Irish Marine Sea Change Web Page
Irish Marine SmartBay Web Page
Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth: