Workshops this year to establish Ireland as hub for aquaculture tech

  • Ireland has major potential in becoming a tech hub for the global aquaculture industry, says Wayne Murphy, the Cork-based co-founder of start-up accelerator Hatch. 

    Hatch is a programme operating out of Hawaii and Norway for tech start-ups in the aquaculture space. 

    Its organisers plan to run workshops in Ireland this year for entrepreneurs and early-stage Irish start-ups interested in the sector, which is also known as aquafarming. 

    Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish.

    Murphy said its Irish workshops will focus on very new and experimental ideas, from IoT sensors for fish farming to new food production techniques, that need help getting off the ground.

    The workshops are being organised with Bord Iascaigh Mhara (the agency of the Irish state with responsibility for developing the Irish marine fishing and aquaculture industries).

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    Murphy added that Hatch won't be taking any equity in the participants unlike in its other programmes, which typically invest in and work with start-ups that have more clearly defined business plans.

    "This is why we decided to reach back further down the value chain, to start looking at those ideas that have potential commercial opportunity," he said. 

    "It is enabling earlier stage ideas to get a little bit more meat on the bones and to understand what the global aquaculture market is like and understand the business side of things."

    Murphy said Hatch may hold the workshops as an in-person event in mid-October at the RDI Hub in Co Kerry.

    "Interestingly, 50pc of our last couple of cohorts had no aquaculture background whatsoever. They were techies, engineers, data analysts, and computer scientists," he said.

    RELATED: Tech-inspired Belfast aquarium gains planning permission approval

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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