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Research Funders Meet to Review Ireland’s Progress in Marine Research and Innovation

The National Marine Research Funders' Forum was established in 2018, and held their sixth meeting on the 26th November 2020. The Forum is an essential mechanism for the implementation of the National Marine Research & Innovation Strategy 2017-2021, which continues to be implemented as a whole-of-government strategy. In the period between the fifth meeting of the Forum in May and the recent sixth meeting, a new National Marine Research Database was launched. Developed in collaboration with national funders, the database displays more than 500 marine research projects that have received combined funding of over €230 million from national and international funding programmes.

The Marine Research Funders' Forum brings together state research funding organisations with the aim of enhancing coordination in marine related research funding, whilst also addressing key implementing actions set out in the National Marine Research and Innovation Strategy 2017 – 2021. The collection and analysis of national marine research investment data commenced in 2018 as a shared initiative of the Forum members, and the new National Marine Research Database was launched in July 2020 as a result of this collaborative national effort. Details on marine research projects that have been funded / active during the lifetime of the National Marine Research and Innovation Strategy 2017 – 2021 are profiled in the database. The database contains awards funded by national research funders that are members of the Marine Research Funders' Forum and also internationally funded projects with Irish involvement such as Horizon 2020 and Interreg.

The sixth meeting of the Marine Research Funders' Forum provided an opportunity to share updates on organisation programmes, funding calls and developments of strategic importance. This included an update on the EU Horizon Europe Research and Innovation (R&I) framework programme 2021-27 and the launch of a stakeholder consultation on a Strategic R&I Agenda on "A climate neutral, sustainable and productive Blue Economy" Partnership. A review of the National Marine Research and Innovation Strategy commenced in June to assess progress in achieving the three Goals of the Strategy as it enters its final year. Initial findings of the review were presented and discussed at the meeting, with a final report due to be completed in early 2021.

Dr Niall McDonough, Director of Policy, Innovation and Research Support Services at the Marine Institute and Chair of the Marine Research Funders' Forum said, "the recommendations arising from the review will provide a focus to the implementation of the National Marine Research and Innovation Strategy 2017 – 2021 as it enters its final year. The findings of the review will also feed into any successor strategy to Innovation 2020. Coordinated and targeted investment in marine research and innovation in Ireland is essential to address key national and global challenges that we face as well as playing a significant role in Ireland's economic recovery and growth."

View the National Marine Research Database here

More information on the Marine Research Funders' Forum is available here


Editor's Notes:
National Marine Research & Innovation Strategy 2017-2021
Ireland's National Marine Research & Innovation Strategy 2017-2021 aims to provide a framework within which funding for marine research can be targeted most effectively to areas of strategic importance. It allows research funders to assess the impact and likely return to the state from research investment in marine related research. It is also designed to ensure that state support for marine research results in Irish researchers being able to compete at an international level and participate fully in transnational research projects. The Strategy outlines 16 key implementing actions.

Marine Research Funders' Forum Participating Organisations
• Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Northern Ireland
• Bord Iascaigh Mhara
• Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
• Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
• Department of Environment, Climate and Communications
• Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science
• Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage
• Enterprise Ireland
 Environmental Protection Agency
• Fáilte Ireland
• Geological Survey Ireland
• Higher Education Authority
• Inland Fisheries Ireland
• InterTradeIreland
• Irish Research Council
• Knowledge Transfer Ireland
• Marine Institute
• Met Éireann
 National Parks and Wildlife Service
• Northern & Western Regional Assembly
• Science Foundation Ireland
• Southern Regional Assembly
• Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
• Teagasc
• Údarás na Gaeltachta

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