July 7, 2004
(Innovation, Trade and Rural Development)
Province advances ocean technology sector in Ireland
Premier Danny Williams today participated in the signing of agreements between Irish and Newfoundland and Labrador ocean technology organizations in Dublin, Ireland. Newfoundland and Labradorís NavSim Technology Inc. signed a partnership agreement with NowCasting International, while Newfoundland and Labradorís Lotek Wireless Inc. signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Irish Marine Institute. Premier Williams was joined by Irish Minister of Communications, Marine, and Natural Resources Dermot Ahern. Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, was also present at the signings.
"Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador both have significant ocean industries and similar geographies and economic goals. I am pleased that these organizations from our respective countries have decided to formalize their relationships today, and I am confident that the results will exceed the sum of their parts," said Premier Williams.
Lotek Wireless Inc, of St. Johnís manufactures tracking devices that track fish, birds and wildlife globally. NavSim Technology Inc. of St. Johnís manufactures advanced autopilots for boats. The Irish Marine Institute provides scientific services including research, technology, development, innovation and advice to marine businesses. NowCasting International supplies weather forecasts to maritime users.
Ireland's marine resource covers over 220 million acres - more than 10 times the countryís land area. The resource has a growing impact on the Irish economy, which is valued in excess of $2 billion, and employs more than 32,000 people.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, a private-public business group called Oceans Advance is working to brand St. Johnís as an international choice for ocean technology business through international marketing and business opportunities. Partners in the initiative include the City of St. Johns, the Newfoundland Association of Technological Industries, Newfoundland Ocean Industries Association, Memorial University, and private sector companies.
"I am very excited to see these mutually beneficial relationships and partnerships being developed," added the premier. "Our province looks to Ireland as an example of how to successfully turn around our economy, but we also have much to offer in terms of sharing our successes and experiences with the Irish. The signing of these MOUs represents how our two jurisdictions can learn and benefit from one another."
Lotek Wireless Inc. of St. Johnís develops and manufactures microelectronic tagging devices to track fish, birds and animals. It has tracked elephants in Africa, manatee in Florida, and elk in Ontario. It tagged a bluefin tuna in Japan and recovered the fish in Mexico 611 days later. Lotek has been doing business in Ireland for more than a decade with a primarily focus on Atlantic salmon research coordinated by Irelandís Marine Institute
NavSim Technology Inc. is a privately-owned St. John's based company led by founder, Dr. Piotr Waclawek. NavSim is the first incubated spin-off from the NRC's Institute for Marine Dynamics in St. John's. The companyís products enable safer, more accurate and easier boat handling at any speed and under any weather and traffic conditions.
2004 07 07 12:20 p.m.