The Marine Atlantic Regions Network (MARNET) is an EU transnational co-operation project involving 10 partners from the five member states (Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal and UK) in the Atlantic Area. It runs from July 2012 to December 2014 and will see €1.3 million invested, including €850,000 from the European Union.

The project aims to develop a methodology to create and collate comparable marine socio-economic data across the Atlantic regions. This data in turn will support marine socio-economic development along the Atlantic Area.

There are five strands to the project:

  1. Form a marine socio-economic network (MARNET).
  2. Generate an atlas of marine socio-economic indicators.
  3. Develop a methodology to identify, collect and classify marine-related socio-economic data in the Atlantic Area.
  4. Create a suite of marine socio-economic indicators.
  5. Provide practical opportunities for each country to apply the socio-economic database in consultation with stakeholders in the marine and the region.

Whitaker Institute and MARNET

NUI Galway leads on the first strand: forming the network.  Its focus is on collaboration and knowledge-sharing between marine socio-economists, policy officers, and local and regional authorities across the Atlantic Area.

The network enables members to pursue funding opportunities, like Horizon 2020 and European Territorial Cooperation. It ensures best practice on gathering and using data, which enhances Institute/Research Group performance.

It also supports access and sharing of information not readily available through other channels; and cooperation in tendering for research contracts or bidding for collaborative grants.

A Charter on purpose and scope has also been developed.

Wider Scope and Purpose

The MARNET project will, for the first time, map the value of the marine economy throughout the Atlantic Area. Previously, SEMRU at NUI Galway analysed the Irish Ocean Economy, putting a monetary value on activities such as marine food, marine leisure, and renewables.

MARNET will extend previously developed marine socio-economic atlases to the Atlantic Area. It will also develop a series of socio-economic indicators to map the value of the sector and implement practical applications underscoring its value to each of the constituent regions.

The long term objective of the Network will be to become a recognised collaboration of institutions with marine socio-economic expertise available for consultation with a range of EU institutes and marine and regional stakeholders.

Funded by

MARNET funder logos from website

Project Partners

Two of the 10 partners are Irish: the BMW Regional Assembly (also providing the overall leadership) and the Socio-Economic Marine Research Institute (SEMRU) at NUI Galway.


Associate Partners

For more information

Dr Stephen Hynes
Senior Researcher
Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit
J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics
National University of Ireland, Galway