Browsing Marine Research Sub-Programme (NDP 2007-2013) Series by Author "Regan, Fiona"
Beaufort Marine Award: Sensors and Communication System for Marine Environments (BEAU SENS 2007)Regan, Fiona (Marine Institute, 2018)EU decisions 1600/2002/EC laying down the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme and EU Directive 2008/56/EC of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive) emphasise that: “The marine environment is a precious heritage that must be protected, preserved and, where practicable, restored with the ultimate aim of maintaining biodiversity and providing diverse and dynamic oceans and seas which are clean, healthy and productive.” The same directive also required that: “Each Member State should therefore develop a marine strategy for its marine waters which, while being specific to its own waters, reflects the overall perspective of the marine region or sub-region concerned. Marine strategies should culminate in the execution of programmes of measures designed to achieve or maintain good environmental status.” In response to the EU directives to promote sustainable use of the seas and conserving marine ecosystems, the Republic of Ireland via the Department of Communications, Marine & Natural Resources launched ‘The Beaufort Marine Research Awards (BMA)’ in June 2007. This Beaufort Award ‘Sensors and Communication Systems for the Marine Environment’ aimed to develop deployable marine analytical platforms with wireless communication capability to perform autonomous sampling for extended periods of time. This multidisciplinary Beaufort team includes skillsets of chemistry, sensing, separation science, molecular biology, engineering and image analysis contributing to six research sub-programmes or workpackages. The BMA project started in 2007 at DCU. In 2010 the Marine and Environmental Sensing Technology Hub (MESTECH) was established as a result of the growing expertise in marine sensing technology and monitoring in DCU. A MESTECH website was developed (www.mestech.ie), and MESTECH actively engaged with social media technologies such as Twitter to significantly increase the international and national profile of our marine research and the BMA. The project has published >70 peer-reviewed papers. BMA members have presented >70 conferences and workshop papers or posters, >10 invited talks and several visits to other marine research laboratories have taken place. Collaborations with other marine research institutions and with industries operating within marine sector across EU, US and Asia have been formed. These national/ international collaborations facilitate technical and knowledge exchanges that are important in promoting the research capability of Ireland, and would facilitate Irish companies in accessing new technologies to contribute towards building the future economy. These collaborations are also the basis of forming international consortia for 10 future non-exchequer funding applications. In addition to the academic achievements and growing network of collaborators, the outputs of the research include novel chemical and biosensing platforms, a significant long-term dataset from a variety of sites, data analytics platforms for decision support tool development and novel materials for marine and other applications. Despite these successes, there is still much to do to achieve the ultimate goal of promoting Ireland as a leading marine research nation and more resources (both financial and human resources) are required to bring the current work forward to sustain long-term, high-quality research. The Beaufort PIs and management team have been very active in funding applications. Greater than €5 million funding was secured since the start of the BMA programme from agencies including FP7 programme, QUESTOR and national agencies such as IRCSET, SFI, EI, HEA and EPA leveraging the success of the BMA programme.