OECD Science and Technology Policy Ministerial


Niall McDonough

Marine Institute, Ireland

Director of Policy, Innovation and Research Services


Niall McDonough originally trained as a marine biologist with research interests in marine aquaculture, shellfish stock restoration and marine resource management. He holds a first class BA Mod. in Natural Sciences from Trinity College Dublin (1993) and a PhD from Queen’s University Belfast (1998). Following two years at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Galway, Niall served for five years as General Manager of the Centre for Marine Resources and Mariculture (C-Mar), an innovation centre at Queen’s University Belfast providing research, technical and advisory services for the emerging marine aquaculture sector. From 2007 to 2009 he worked with the Marine Institute’s international cooperation programme. In 2009, he was appointed Executive Director of the European Marine Board (EMB), a European marine science policy organisation based at the InnovOcean campus in Ostend, Belgium. He returned to Ireland in 2017 to take up his current role with the Marine Institute where he oversees a team and programme of work that plays a key role in supporting and promoting marine research and innovation at national and international level. He oversees the Marine Institute’s circa €10m per annum external research funding programme and is a member of the Irish Government’s Impact 2030 Implementation Group and Horizon Europe High-Level Group. In November 2020, he was elected Chair of the European Joint Programming Initiative on Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans.

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