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Making Ireland The ‘Silicon’ Valley For Aquaculture Innovation

Bord Iascaigh Mhara is searching for entrepreneurs who can make a major impact on Ireland’s aquaculture sector.

The aim, according to Richard Donnelly, the national seafood agency’s Development and Innovation Manager, is to make Ireland “the silicon valley for aquaculture innovation.”

“When you look at aquaculture and you think of being innovative, be it in finance, be it in technology, you can go – yes, the brain power is in Ireland and so we’re just harnessing our brain power,” he told the MARINE TIMES when BIM announced this week that recruitment is underway for this year’s Aquaculture Accelerator programme. The two-week programme, managed by aquaculture accelerator, Hatch and funded under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, will take place in the RDI (Research, Development, Innovation) Hub in Killorglin, Co Kerry, from October 5 to 16.

This is the third year of the programme which was started in 2018. Start-ups on the programmes are diverse. Proposals put forward have ranged from innovative technologies in salmon cage manufacturing to online trading platforms for aquaculture products. Last year’s workshop was held in Dublin and resulted in three of the participating Irish businesses receiving significant capital investment and going on to join the Hatch Global Accelerator programme in Hawaii.

“It’s clear that many more concepts and ideas await discovery and development in Ireland given the right environment, investment and focus,” said Mr.Donnelly.

This year ten start-up businesses from Ireland will have the opportunity to work directly with and receive mentorship from a global team of experts from aquaculture, fin-tech and marketing disciplines according to Wayne Murphy, Co-Founder of Hatch. “The ultimate aim,” he says, “is to grow, develop and support more early- stage ideas and talent in what is the fastest growing food sector in the world right now.”

Details on how to apply for the programme are on: www.hatch.blue

• Listen to Richard Donnelly on this week’s Podcast