The Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) of Memorial University of Newfoundland is pleased to announce it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the University of Limerick (UL) in Limerick, Ireland.
Glenn Blackwood, executive director, Marine Institute, and Gerald Anderson, manager, Office of Marketing and Business Development, MI, took part in the signing today in Limerick. Representatives from the Ireland Business Partnerships (IBP) and Ireland Newfoundland Partnership were also a part of the signing.
“We are proud to enter into a memorandum of understanding with an institution as respected as the University of Limerick,” Mr. Blackwood said . “The Marine Institute and UL have similar academic interests in regards to training, research and development related to underwater robotics, electronics, ocean technologies and marine industries. These shared interests will enable us to establish a mutually beneficial framework that will advance our expertise in these sectors.”
The memorandum of understanding signed by MI and UL is wide ranging and touches on a number of areas important to both institutions. The Marine Institute and the University of Limerick will work in close partnership on a number of projects, including training and technology transfer initiatives, curriculum and program development, student and faculty exchange and project activity related to applied research and development activity.
“The Marine Institute has taken a leadership role in advancing Newfoundland and Labrador’s ocean technology sector,” said Shawn Skinner, minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development and chair, IBP. “Today’s MOU represents the recognition that it is garnering on the international stage, along with the growing relationship between academic, business, and cultural organizations in Ireland and this province. I congratulate both parties on entering into this MOU that I am sure will benefit both organizations.”
By signing the MOU, the Marine Institute and the University of Limerick have agreed to work together to meet training and technology transfer needs related to underwater robotics, side scan sonar, ocean technologies and electronics. Both sides will work to identify opportunities related to the ocean technology industry, specifically the robotics and simulation sectors.
MI and UL are well suited to help each other gain footholds in new markets, according to Mr. Blackwood. He points out the Marine Institute has established relationships with ocean technology and fisheries and marine industries throughout North America while UL has developed similar relationships with Irish and other European companies.
“The University of Limerick has already written MI into two proposals involving ocean mapping and ROV operations because of MI’s expertise in these areas,” said Mr. Blackwood. “UL already has strong ties to the marine robotics, ocean technology and marine industries throughout Europe and I am very confident their connections will aid MI’s attempts to establish linkages throughout Ireland and the European Union.”
The signing of the MOU between the Marine Institute and UL is a follow up to a June 2009 trade mission to Ireland organized by IBP and the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development whose collective work is focused on enhancing business and cultural relationships with Ireland.
During the June mission to Ireland, the Marine Institute signed into a MOU with The Food Technology Centre, St. Angela’s College, to jointly develop an online European Food Law course. This is just one of more than 50 such ventures MI has entered into with Irish universities and colleges in the past 10 years.
“Our collaborations with universities and colleges in Ireland have been of great benefit to our students, faculty and industry partners,” said Mr. Anderson. “These collaborations are possible in large part because of the support we receive from the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development and the Ireland Business Partnerships.”
While in Ireland, MI will also hold meetings at the Cork Institute of Technology, the Dublin Institute of Technology, the Marine Institute in Galway and other post-secondary institutions to discuss possible project collaborations.