The Ringaskiddy-based Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC) has become the first maritime project to win a Public Service Excellence Award in the eight-year history of the prestigious scheme.
IMERC is an alliance between the Naval Service, University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology, harnessing public sector and industry expertise to realise the potential of ocean energy and other economic sectors.
Among 20 projects selected from 190 applications, IMERC was praised by the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, as a “unique example of joined-up thinking”, that had leveraged major capital and inward investment, supported indigenous industry and enhanced the capacity for research in Ireland’s maritime sector.
Dr Valerie Cummins, IMERC director, said the award was an acknowledgement of the hard work, leadership and talent of the researchers, naval service personnel, trainers, educators, agency and industry stakeholders in IMERC.
The IMERC campus in Ringaskiddy builds on existing infrastructure, including the National Maritime College of Ireland and the Naval Service headquarters, to provide a research and commercial location of world standing.
Future developments include UCC’s Beaufort Laboratory, supporting a sector that could yield up to 52,000 jobs by 2030, while industry suites will provide for commercial enterprises attracted here and emerging spin-out companies.