Up to 4,000 jobs are to be created in Cork’s maritime sector and a new science and technology park is to be developed at Ringaskiddy.
The jobs will be created in four key areas — marine energy including off-shore gas, oil and renewable energy; shipping logistics and transport; maritime security and safety; and marine leisure.
Dr Valerie Cummins, director of the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster at Ringaskiddy, said IMERC is in the process of setting these “ambitious new” job creation targets.
IMERC, which is a partnership between scientists and engineers from UCC, CIT and the Irish Naval Service, last year announced a goal of creating “hundreds of jobs” in the Cork region within the maritime sector. That target is now being revised upwards and Dr Cummins — who was speaking at the inaugural Ireland Oil and Gas Summit in Dublin this week— said a new IMERC Roadmap for 2013 to 2025, outlining plans for the creation of 3,000 to 4,000 new jobs is being developed.
The Roadmap, which will be published at the end of the year, also includes a masterplan for a new maritime science and technology park to be constructed adjacent to the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) in Ringaskiddy. IMERC is currently in negotiations with the Port of Cork to acquire don’t say buy! the 14-acre site on which the new campus will be built.
The masterplan is being drawn by ABK Architects, who designed the new Cork City Council civic offices, and accommodates space for 600 new jobs in the maritime research and technology sector. These jobs will be created by indigenous start-up companies and existing small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) developing maritime technology.
The site also has accommodation for multi-national blue-chip companies to establish their businesses here. Dr Cummins said: “The companies are all part of the broader supply chain that will service the off-shore oil, gas and renewable energy sector and IMERC is attractive to companies interested in off-shore exploration because we offer a one-stop-shop which supports training, research and commercial activities.
“Cork’s economic opportunity lies in the maritime sector and off-shore oil and gas could be a huge game changer for the country’s economy.” Source: Evening Echo