Cork Institute of Technology delivers undergraduate and postgraduate education and carries out research in Science and Engineering, Business and Humanities, Art, Music and Maritime Studies. In SMACS, CIT is represented by the National Maritime College of Ireland (a constituent college of CIT) and the Nimbus Centre for Embedded Systems Research, CIT’s largest research centre.
National Maritime College of Ireland
The National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) represents a €57 million euro investment by the Irish State in a centre of excellence for maritime operations training, education and research. Opened in 2005 it is a recognised international centre of learning for both civilian and military seafarers. NMCI is a constituent college of the Cork Institute of Technology and is a partnership between the Cork Institute of Technology and the Irish Naval Service.
NMCI delivers training and education in all aspects of seafaring through seamanship, navigation, engineering and of most relevance to the SMACs project, maritime safety and survival training. NMCI is home to one of the largest maritime simulation installations anywhere in the World and the facility houses very extensive and sophisticated survival training facilities designed to give seafarers of all types the safety and survival skills vital for any mariner. As such there is significant in-house expertise in maritime safety and survival from both a civilian / commercial perspective and a military perspective through the involvement of the Irish Naval Service. The adjacent location of NMCI with the headquarters of the Irish Naval Service results in the availability of the combined expertise of both institutions being immediately and continuously available. NMCI provides operational safety and survival training courses to civilian seafarers and to members of both the Irish Naval Service and the Irish Coast Guard. Through the Halpin Research Centre at NMCI, R&D into future maritime safety is undertaken. Maritime safety is one of the three core focus areas of research in the NMCI Research Strategy.
Commercial Company Incubation
NMCI has a commercial company incubation activity with new companies locating in the college during their start-up phase. Among the current companies residing in the college are those that are developing new innovations in maritime safety. These companies provide a valuable insight into future directions that will be of utility in the SMACs project. NMCI is a founding partner in the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster, IMERC. This is an ambitious international effort to build a globally significant cluster of research and commercial companies on a campus based in the environs of NMCI in Cork Harbour. The cluster currently involves over 76 Irish and international companies, a number who are involved in various aspects of maritime safety either as end users, platform providers or technology enablers. All such companies will be leveraged in the course of delivering the SMACs project. NMCI operates very closely with the international maritime industry and the global maritime sector. On the civilian and commercial side, NMCI has deep and far reaching contacts with the global shipping, fishing, leisure ports and maritime services sectors. NMCI works closely in both regulatory and R&D matters with major international maritime organisations and NGOs and with people who work in these sectors. In addition to the close relationship with the Irish Naval Service, the NMCI has a deep working relationship with the Irish Coast Guard. Discussions are underway between the NMCI and the Irish Coast Guard for NMCI to become the National Irish Coast Guard Academy.
Irish Naval Service
The Irish Naval Service is the Irish State’s principal seagoing agency with a general responsibility to meet contingent and actual maritime defence requirements. It is tasked with a variety of defence and other roles including maritime safety and Search and Rescue. Defence roles include defending territorial seas, deterring intrusive or aggressive acts, conducting maritime surveillance, maintaining an armed naval presence, ensuring right of passage, protecting marine assets and contributing to a blockade if required. The Service must also be capable of supporting Army operations by sea lift and close naval support. The Irish Naval Service is partner to the Cork Institute of Technology in the National Maritime College of Ireland. The Service has set a goal to become the “smartest, most innovative Naval Service provider in the World by 2016”. Toward achieving this goal the Irish Naval Service is engaging wholeheartedly in R&D activities and is strongly supporting the SMACs project.
Irish Coast Guard
The Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) makes up one arm of the Maritime Safety Services in Ireland. It belongs to the same government department as the Maritime Safety Directorate and the Marine Survey Office, the body that exercises Ireland’s Flag State functions. The IRCG’s mission is to reduce the loss of life within the Irish Search and Rescue Region and on rivers, lakes and waterways and to protect the quality of the marine environment within the Irish Pollution Responsibility Zone, Harbours and Maritime Local Authority areas and to preserve property. The IRCG exists to promote safety standards, and by doing so, prevent, as far as possible, the loss of life at sea and on inland waters and other areas, and to provide an effective emergency response service. The IRCG works in close partnership with the NMCI for maritime safety training and R&D activities and with the Irish Naval Service in Search and Rescue activities.