Taoiseach Enda Kenny on Saturday, announced the creation of 20 new jobs and a €6 million investment in the Marine Institute's facility in Newport. The 20 new positions will be based at the Marine Institute, Newport, where they will be engaged on a number of research projects funded from a secured pot of €6 million in research grants from a number of agencies including Science Foundation Ireland, Interreg, EU H2020/European Research Council, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF ) and the British Research Council.
Speaking in Furnace, near Newport, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, said: "The announcement by the Marine Institute supporting 20 new positions here in Newport is very timely following the launch of 'Realising our Rural Potential – the Action Plan for Rural Development' earlier this week. The Newport facility is a real example of innovation taking place in a rural community and creates exciting opportunities both now and in the years ahead. Scientists at doctoral and post-doctoral level working at the facility are involved in conducting research with not only national implications, but also international relevance. In other words, it firmly brings what is a rural area into a national and international context. This is a relatively unique research facility in operation since 1955 and I am delighted to see the continued excellent quality research that is taking place following €6 million in funding from research grants. I also wish to thank the Marine Institute and their educational partners for their efforts in building a strong international reputation for marine research and innovation."
As the national agency for marine research, technology, development and innovation, the Marine Institute seeks to assess and realise the economic potential of Ireland's marine resource, promote sustainable development of marine industry through strategic funding programmes and essential scientific services, as well as safeguard Ireland's natural marine resource through research and the environmental monitoring.
The Marine Institute's facility in Newport is a unique research centre, where a range of cutting edge research is carried out including genetics work across several species of salmon, sea bass and Pollock, research on the catchment and climate change. The facility is attracting multiple Irish Higher Education Institutions and international partners including University College Cork, Queens University, University College Dublin, GMIT, Dundalk Institute of Technology, NUI Galway and the University of Glasgow. In addition, the Marine Institute is working with Mayo County Council to actively develop new initiatives at the facility to further enhance what the Marine Institute can offer and benefit the local area.
Dr Peter Heffernan, Marine Institute CEO, said: "Ireland has been gaining a reputation in Europe, and internationally for its marine research and innovation, and for driving collaboration in this area. We have a strong marine research community supported by growing national research infrastructure. This €6 million investment programme will see the Marine Institute expand its research capacity at its Newport facility and the continued investment in marine research will ensure that Ireland stays at the cutting edge of research and innovation."
Welcoming the news Peter Hynes, Mayo County Manager added: "This is fantastic news for Mayo and the West region and Mayo County Council looks forward to continuing to work with the Marine Institute to further develop this cutting edge research facility here in Newport."