The Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG) was officially launched yesterday, December 2nd, at University College Dublin (UCD).
At the launch, Minister for Research & Innovation, Damien English TD, said:
“A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to continue to build on the major achievements in scientific research with a focus on turning great ideas into good, sustainable jobs. iCRAG is an exciting new research centre that will help nurture real collaboration across industry and academia in Geosciences in Ireland. It will support increased commercialisation of research which will ultimately grow jobs and support further participation in the STEM sector”
Professor John Walsh (iCRAG director) added:
“iCRAG, under this investment by Science Foundation Ireland, will bring together a team of leading international researchers and industry partners on issues underpinning the economic development of the country – from safe and secure groundwater supplies to the discovery of mineral/aggregate deposits, and from de-risking oil and gas exploration to educating and informing the public on geoscience-related issues.”
The Science Foundation of Ireland (SFI) announced iCRAG in late 2014 and the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) has provided support for the initiative since its inception by way of technical advisory, data and research collaboration. Led by University College Dublin, the centre also includes Principal Investigators from TCD, NUIG and UCC, with academic collaborators at DCU, DIAS and Maynooth University.
Geoscience Ireland (GI) has been involved with the initiative from the outset in underpinning economic development in the industry. GI Member Companies: SLR Consulting (Ireland), Byrne Looby, AWN Consulting & TOBIN Consulting Engineers are amongst the 55 industry partners as well as Tullow Oil & Petroleum Infrastructure Programme (PIPco).
In his address, Koen Verbruggen, Director of the GSI, commented:
“Geoscience Ireland, through promoting engagement between academia and industry and collaboration between Irish companies will continue to create jobs in the geoscience sector. In 2015, GI Member Companies have created 250 new jobs, more than 60% in overseas markets.”
Koen noted the recent project win by Verde Environmental in Nigeria announced during the recent Enterprise Ireland/Bord Bia Trade Mission to Nigeria & Ghana led by Minister Simon Coveney.