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Govt commits E15m to marine INFOMAR

Tuesday, December 31 11:20:43

The Government today set out details of upcoming projects in the National Marine Mapping Programme (INFOMAR), and pledged Government commitment of E15m for the next 5 years.

This is for the continuation of what Minister for Natural Resources, Fergus O'Dowd called "the most valuable resource for marine research and development in Ireland and beyond".

Covering some 125,000 square kilometres of underwater territory, the INFOMAR project is producing new mapping and integrated products covering the Irish maritime space. It provides seabed surveys, which are used in all activities from planning for offshore renewable energy projects to ensuring shipping lanes are safely charted.

Commenting today, Minister O'Dowd said: 'I am delighted to announce the continuation of the INFOMAR project. This is a world class undertaking which is providing crucial information towards the development of Ireland's 220 million acres that lie under the sea. I am particularly pleased to see the programme focus on adding value to the data and ensuring INFOMAR plays it's part in developing jobs and growth."

The decision to continue the project was taken following a second full independent review of its operations by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The initial review, undertaken in 2008, concluded that the benefits to the state of completing the project are between 4 and 6 times the cost. The second review showed the project to be on track and recommended accelerated development of business and educational applications. Dublin Business Innovation Centre (DBIC) have now been contracted to work with the project on this area, including new products, apps, and educational resources.