2007 Annual Report - Preface
Preface | Agency for geoscience sector | 2007 Highlights | Geoscience makes significant progress | Research drives the Knowledge Economy | 3D Ireland | Supporting effective infrastructure | Coastal potential | Geoscience and Ireland's energy | Clean water is central to our environment | North-South and International Cooperation | Society supports geoscience | GSI organisation | Using GSI services

Government considers science, technology and innovation to be excellent vehicles for developing the national knowledge economy and towards that end has invested heavily in them. As part of this policy the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) has been encouraged to take a leading role in the development of the geoscience sector and last year it published jointly with the Royal Irish Academy a National Geoscience Programme which sets out a sectoral vision over the period of the National Development Plan (2007-2013). I believe that as a result geoscience is set to contribute more effectively to national life.

GSI itself, as the national geological agency, has a key role to play on behalf of the geoscience sector in its provision of a range of high-quality services. This Annual Report sets out the achievements of GSI, over the past year. It has had some Geoscience Research Awards. It has also begun to deliver its data holdings free of charge and in digital format, and this will I hope have a major impact on the number and range of users of data.

I am pleased that in November GSI signed a Framework of Cooperation with the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland and the British Geological Survey. On a practical level this framework will stimulate increased sharing of knowledge as well customers on both sides of the Border.

There is a welcome for all these developments among the customers and stakeholders of GSI. It is important that they - and equally importantly society in general - are aware of the potential contribution that GSI can make to our economic competitiveness and quality of life. This year, 2008, will be important in this regard. It is the International Year of Planet Earth during which geoscientists will be promoting greater awareness of the valuable contribution their science makes to society.

I welcome the publication of this Annual Report and its website appendices which set out the results of GSI programmes during 2007. I wish to acknowledge the contribution of GSI staff during the year as well as the cooperation of customers and stakeholders.

Tony Killeen TD, Minister of State
Tony Killeen TD
Minister of State
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
February 2008.