2006 GSI Annual Report
Preface | 2006 Achievements| Serving a Changing Society | Supporting the Knowledge Economy | Protecting our Environment | Mapping our Earth Resources | Engaging with Society | Co-operating Abroad | Providing a Stimulating Work Environment | Using GSI Services
Government in 2006 published its Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (SSTI) in which it set out its vision that by 2013 Ireland will be internationally renowned for the excellence of its research and for the generation and use of new knowledge within an innovation-driven culture. Government sees science and technology as key drivers of the national economy and I was pleased that SSTI explicitly included geoscience.
The Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI), a Division of my Department, is the national geological agency and, as such, is a key component of the national science system. I have encouraged GSI to take a leading role in developing the geoscience sector – a sector not specifically recognised until recently – and I expect it to make an increasingly effective contribution to Ireland’s socio-economic progress, in alliance with other key players such as the Marine Institute and the Environmental Protection Agency. This report makes clear that GSI is also extending its welcome cooperation with its Northern Ireland counterpart, the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland. I was pleased recently, together with the President of the Royal Irish Academy, to launch the National Geoscience Programme and key objectives from it feature in the Government’s National Development Plan (2007-2013).
The achievements of GSI during 2006 have been considerable. While maintaining its traditional range of high quality services, it has successfully launched two new programmes in order to meet customer needs and their results will have applications in many areas of society. The first, INFOMAR, a joint venture with the Marine Institute, has the task of completing the mapping of Ireland’s inshore waters while the second, RESI (Resource and Environmental Survey of Ireland), is addressing the onshore needs for modern knowledge of our physical environment. One challenge now facing GSI is to bring the news of this success to the widest public, so that the new data are used effectively in support of national objectives.
I wish to acknowledge the co-operation of customers and stakeholders in guiding and supporting GSI’s work programme, and I acknowledge also the contribution of GSI staff throughout 2006: the resulting and welcome achievements are outlined in this report and I commend them to the reader.
Noel Dempsey T.D.
Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources