Jobs boost at marine cluster

More than 30 jobs have already been created by start-up companies based within the Irish Maritime Energy Research Cluster (IMERC) from its entrepreneurship programme.

However, job creation is expected to snowball in the coming years.

Martin Wall, manager of the IMERC entrepreneurship scheme, said he was very pleased the campus was helping to produce new jobs since the scheme started last October.

He said the new positions are being created by a mix of start-up indigenous companies and foreign direct investment. He was also confident about prospects for even more significant job creation in the years ahead.

The Government has a target to double the percentage of GDP from the ocean economy from its current 1.2% to 2.4% by 2030.

“A huge amount of leadership has come together to deliver something special through the combined work on IMERC with CIT, UCC and the Naval Service and produce a campus where we now have the National Maritime College and the Beaufort Centre,” Mr Wall said.

He said eight new companies were now located on the campus which had raised combined funding of €1.2m for research and venture projects.

He said the project had, so far, created 30 new jobs.

“The new start-up companies will outgrow our facilities and it’s part of our job to ensure that we have more in the pipeline to come in and replace them,” he said.

“We already have three more companies who have presented applications to use our campus.”

Mr Wall said as available space was near capacity in the incubation units, some units were being configured to allow start-up companies facilitate more employees.

“We hope to create up to 3,000 new jobs through the IMERC partnership by 2020.

“They are all maritime and energy-focussed and they are a pathway for college spin-outs and local entrepreneurs

“We currently have companies coming in from abroad and partnering indigenous companies. In addition, we have companies from the likes of the UK and America which are visiting and actively considering setting up offices in Ireland,” Mr Wall added.


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