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Irish Marine Institute

Insights from sea-based sensing data help drive the emergence of a blue-water economy

How they did it

Irish Marine Institute: Nurturing Ireland’s emerging “blue economy” by listening to sensors in the sea

Getting smarter

By monitoring and analyzing the pulse of the ocean, a cluster of innovators are turning insights into a new economy.

  • Instrumented: Floating buoys equipped with sophisticated sensors monitor physical, chemical, and organic changes in the waters of Galway Bay and send it to a central repository.

  • Interconnected: With all that data accessible through a web-based portal, the bay area’s cluster of innovators can use it to solve problems and create sensing-driven services that benefit the maritime and surrounding communities.

  • Intelligent: Combining real-time ocean data with algorithms has enabled cluster members to develop predictive models that have increased navigational safety, enable more accurate flood planning and faster response to environmental crises like phosphate plumes.

Smarter outcomes

A Smarter Planet solution is measured by its results. Here are the outcomes of Irish Marine Institute’s SmartBay initiative. The early success of the program enabled the institute to secured €3.8 million in funding from Irish government to expand it.  The entrepreneurial impact of the smart ocean cluster extends beyond the maritime community to the Irish economy as a whole.  Galway’s SmartBay leadership positions Ireland to be a hot spot in the emerging blue ocean activities such as wave power generation.  By more accurately predicting flooding, Galway can better manage its public safety resources and cut costs.


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The combination of ocean sensing and real-time analytics is helping the Irish Marine Institute usher in the age of the blue economy in and around Galway Bay.