As an island nation, the oceans that surround Ireland present enormous opportunities across key economic areas including food and aquaculture, marine energy, technology and international collaboration and cooperation. The Marine Institute today (Tuesday) announced, on behalf of the Marine Coordination Group, that the Our Ocean Wealth conference, now in its 3rd year, will bring international and national industry leaders, policy makers, researchers and maritime entrepreneurs together on 1st July 2016 in NUIG to discuss marine innovation, marine spatial planning, healthy ocean ecosystems and sustainability.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Into the Blue – Innovating for our Marine Future” and key speakers include Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, head of the Irish Defence Forces, European Commission DG Research Head of Marine Resources Sigi Gruber, Gerald Fleming of Met Eireann, Craig McLean, US National Ocean & Atmospheric Administration and Linda Rosborough of Marine Scotland.
The new Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Micheal Creed T.D. will give his first formal address on the marine economy at the conference. Minster Creed said, “This conference will be an opportunity to reflect on the progress and achievements in implementing Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth – An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland. I’m looking forward to hearing from thought leaders and innovators across a broad and exciting maritime sphere and to join the discussion on innovating for our marine future”
Speaking at the launch of the conference schedule, Marine Institute CEO Dr Peter Heffernan said, “While there are many events internationally that look at specific areas of our marine economy, from shipping and transport to energy, the Our Ocean Wealth annual conference is unique in that it brings global experts in this industry together to discuss the future opportunities and challenges for the blue economy. This holistic approach to the global maritime economy, and our focus on Ireland’s blue economy, makes it a must-attend event for anyone working in or involved in marine-related activities.”
Delegates will also hear from innovative Irish companies such as OpenHydro Group Ltd, which has just installed its second tidal turbine off the north west coast of France due to connect to the grid this summer, in what will be a world first for the tidal energy industry.
Several hundred people are expected to attend the Our Ocean Wealth conference, which is being held in Galway this year as part of SeaFest, Ireland’s national maritime festival from 30th June to 3rd July. A number of other blue economy events are also taking place to coincide with the Our Ocean Wealth conference, including a Sea Change Researchers Workshop at the Marine Institute, The Digital Ocean event at the Meyrick Hotel and the BIM National Seafood Conference which all take place on Thursday 30th June.