Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford announced €4.3m of EU funding to develop advanced marine monitoring systems in the Irish Sea.
The STREAM (Sensor Technologies for Remote Environmental Aquatic Monitoring) project will bring together partners on both sides of the Irish Sea to better understand the impact of climate change; lower the cost of marine observation and accelerate the process of data provision.
The £5.4m project is supported through the EU’s Ireland-Wales Co-operation Programme and led by the Waterford Institute of Technology, with project partners Swansea University and Cork Institute of Technology.
STREAM will develop sensors capable of providing real-time environmental data through web portals, mobile applications and mass-produced sensors for organisations responsible for protecting and improving Welsh and Irish waters. Data collected will be shared locally to keep coastal communities informed about the local impacts of climate change.
Professor Drakeford said:
“Preserving our marine environment in Wales and Ireland for economic prosperity and enjoyment is vitally important. This is an excellent example of how EU funds are enabling partners on both sides of the Irish Sea to support communities to mitigate the impacts of climate change.”
Paschal Donohoe TD, the Irish Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, said:
“I am delighted to see the launch of another EU-funded project supported by the Ireland-Wales Programme. The continuing co-operation between our two nations in areas such as scientific research yields benefits on all sides.
“Climate change is a shared challenge, which serves to highlight the importance of cross-border co-operation through projects like STREAM. By furthering our understanding of the impact of climate change in this way we will be better placed to combat it in the future, improving the quality of our seas for the years to come.”
Dr Joe O’Mahony, principal investigator at the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), added:
“WIT welcomes the significant investment made by the EU in further developing the marine sensing and communications knowledge base in our cross-border region.
“This investment builds on the unique blend of expertise offered across all partner organisations and will ensure the cross-border region continues to be an exemplar for clean and productive seas.
“We are very much looking forward to working with our partners in Wales and Ireland on this very exciting and important operation.”