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#OurOceanWealth - Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson has been confirmed as keynote speaker for this year’s Our Ocean Wealth Summit, taking place in Galway on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 June.

Now in its fifth year, the Our Ocean Wealth Summit forms a key part of the Government’s integrated marine plan Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth. The summit is a key event for the marine sector and related industries, offering a platform for discussion on the future of Ireland’s marine sector.

This year, the summit will extend across two days with a packed programme of presentations as well as panel discussion, interactive sessions and networking events.

Galway Docks will host the event, expected to attract more than 500 national and international delegates from across the marine sector.

The largest gathering of Ireland’s marine and business communities, the Our Ocean Wealth Summit attracts high-profile speakers from across the globe, not only from the marine sector but from a wide-range of disciplines.

This year’s keynote speaker is Mary Robinson, the seventh President of Ireland and the first woman to hold the office. In 2010 she established The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, a centre for thought leadership, education and advocacy on the struggle to secure global justice for people vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Other key speakers will include former Nasa astronaut Kathryn Sullivan, who was appointed by US President Barack Obama as Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Administrator (NOAA). Sullivan has a long career as a distinguished scientist, astronaut and oceanographer.

Producer of BBC’s award-winning Blue Planet II series Orla Doherty is also one of the highlights of the summit programme. With family roots on the Donegal coast, Doherty has had a strong connection to the sea. She is an expert in underwater filming and has filmed scientists at the frontline of ocean discoveries from Indonesia to the Arctic Circle.

This year’s theme is ‘Investing in Marine Ireland’ and the summit will focus on progress towards the Government’s ambitious targets to double the value of the blue economy by 2030.

The diverse programme planned for this year’s Summit reflects strong collaboration between Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, Marine Institute and the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland, with individual sessions addressing environmental, economic and societal opportunities and challenges to creating a sustainable ocean economy for Ireland.

The Our Ocean World Summit coincides with Ireland’s national maritime festival, SeaFest 2018 in Galway from Friday 29 June till Sunday 1 July.

Published in News Update

Thousands of visitors will flock to Galway this weekend for what is expected to be the “biggest and most spectacular” sea festival ever staged in Ireland. The national maritime festival, SeaFest, returns to Galway, Friday June 30th to Sunday July 2nd with a packed programme of free, family friendly activities and entertainment on offer for all ages.

A relative new comer to the festival scene, SeaFest is only in its third year, but it has already inspired the hearts and minds of many. Having grown from a relatively small event, attracting 10,000 visitors in 2015, it is now one of the biggest family friendly festivals in the country, and is expected to attract between 80,000 and 100,000 to Galway this weekend.

Visitors can enjoy famous ships, flyboarding, seafood, sailing and lots more as Galway Harbour and docks transforms into a giant, interactive “sea world” for the three day festival with the entire waterfront awash with non-stop water based activity. Every inch of the port will be crammed with boats, over 100, of all shapes and sizes, including sailing, scientific and navy ships. Visitors can climb aboard and explore the tall ship The Phoenix, the Irish naval vessel LÉ Ciara, the Commissioners of Irish Lights Granuaile and the Marine Institute’s research vessel the Celtic Explorer. Free sailing and kayaking sessions will get people out on the water and amongst Galway’s ship-filled harbour. The Irish Sailing Association’s ‘Try Sailing’ sessions will also offer disabled access for budding sailors over the weekend.

For the first time ever Galway will see the world’s Ladies Flyboard champion Kristen Smoyer and veteran Mark Baxter in action, powering through the air on swirling jets of seawater and performing breath-taking acrobatics in a number of thrilling performances planned each day over the festival.

BIM and Bord Bia will host a showcase of the finest of Irish seafood and live cookery and fishmongery demonstrations with top chefs Rory O’Connell, Oliver Dunne and Michael O’Meara. LookWest.ie will present a line-up of talks and displays from marine-inspired entrepreneurs. There’ll be traditional boat building demonstrations, a huge display from the Defence Forces and RNLI and Coast Guard air and sea rescue demonstrations. There’s plenty of fun activities for children of all ages in the dedicated Kids Zone including the Seven Seas Art Workshop, the Sea Sanctuary Zone and a touch tank of marine animals to name a few. Roving seafaring entertainment including sword-fighting buccaneers, the colourful and comic ‘Claddagh Clan’, and giant sea-themed puppets exploding onto the streets will all add to the exciting carnival atmosphere.

The festival also features the Wild Atlantic- Sea Science, a new marine science gallery at Galway City Museum, and a unique exhibition on polar explorer Roald Amundsen at NUI Galway. Festivities will also extend across Galway, with activities taking place in the Latin Quarter, Salthill and Rusheen Bay.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#OurOceanWealth - Maritime Alliance executive director Greg Murphy will provide insights into the success of the US ‘blue tech’ cluster for the Irish marine sector in his keynote address at the Our Ocean Wealth Summit later this month.

Murphy heads a list of speakers announced to coincide with World Oceans Day (Thursday 8 June) for the summit on Friday 30 June at NUI Galway, which will focus on the theme of ‘Rethinking Boundaries and Innovation for a Sustainable Marine Economy’ and where delegates will also receive a progress update on Ireland’s Integrated Marine Plan - Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth.

Terry Garcia, principal at Exploration Ventures LLC and former chief science and exploration officer at National Geographic, will lead discussions on the overwhelming and urgent imperative to innovate arising from our changing oceans.

Bringing Ireland’s blue economy into focus, Dan O'Brien, chief economist for the Institute of International and European Affairs, is addressing a number of topics from the Irish seafood sector, sustainability and economic development in coastal regions to the impact of the Wild Atlantic Way coastal tourism initiative.

Also on the speaker list are representatives from GEOMAR, PwC and Statoil as well as national speakers and panellists including Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy and Fáilte Ireland’s head of the Wild Atlantic Way programme, Fiona Monaghan, among others.

They join previously announced innovation expert Tom Kelley, of award-winning global design and development firm IDEO, who will address the summit on encouraging leaders in Ireland’s marine sector to engage in creative thinking.

Moderated by broadcaster and journalist Olivia O’Leary, this year’s Our Ocean Wealth Summit offers a platform for global and national leaders from across the marine industry and related sectors to convene and collaborate on innovating for our marine future.

“Our ocean is a national asset and supports a diverse economy,” says Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan said. “There are many success stories from businesses, from a range of sectors, about how they have responded to the opportunities provided by the ocean.

“To enable our marine potential to be realised, it is essential that we seek new approaches and ways of thinking to harness the boundless opportunities that exist in our marine industry.

“At this year's summit, delegates will be inspired by those leading the way in driving innovation to continue developing a sustainable marine economy for Ireland.”

A number of related marine industry and research events will also be held around the summit on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June, including the Digital Ocean Conference and the Marine Trade Show.

The Our Ocean Wealth Summit sponsored by PwC and related events are held as part of SeaFest 2017, Ireland’s national maritime festival, from 30 June to 2 July in Galway. For the full summit programme and to register visit www.ouroceanwealth.ie/register

Published in News Update

#MarineScience - Marine Minister Michael Creed fficially opened Ireland's first sea science gallery at Galway City Museum yesterday (Thursday 18 May).

‘Sea Science - the Wild Atlantic’ is Ireland’s first marine science exhibition to have audio and visual displays accessible in both English and as Gaeilge.

The interactive exhibition spans a variety of topics including the nature of how tides operate, multi-beam mapping, deep sea exploration and marine life along the seashore, using a combination of digital interactive touch screens, hands-on-exhibits, holograms and high-definition video footage.

“I’m delighted to officially open Ireland’s first marine science gallery at Galway City Museum, an exhibition that both strengthens our maritime identity and raises awareness about our oceans,” said Minister Creed.

“For an island nation like Ireland, the sea has particular importance to our history and culture, as well as supporting a diverse marine economy. Our ocean is a valuable source of food, a gateway for shipping and means of transport, as well as supporting diverse ecosystems. For many of Ireland’s coastal communities, our ocean also offers tourism and leisure opportunities which contribute to our health and wellbeing.

“Our ocean is indeed a vital resource, and it is imperative to cultivate an interest in our oceans from a young age.”

Dr Peter Heffernan CEO of the Marine Institute said, "Ireland has a rich maritime heritage, from a seafaring history to researching and preserving our marine environment. Our ocean is a national asset and a key aspect of Ireland’s marine plan, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, is to ensure our marine resource generates social, cultural and economic benefits for all our citizens.

Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan added: “To realise Ireland’s marine potential, it’s incredibly important to have an ocean literate society – a population that has a strong understanding of the marine environment and how it impacts our everyday lives.

“To understand the value of our oceans, citizens need to engage with the marine environment from a young age. This exhibition provides a stimulating learning environment for children to discover the mysteries and science of our oceans, and to also inspire our next generation of marine entrepreneurs, explorers and scientists.”

The opening of ‘Sea Science - the Wild Atlantic’ coincides with the launch of SeaFest 2017, Ireland’s national maritime festival, which runs from Friday 30 June to Sunday 2 July.

Volunteers are still wanted for the three-day event, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Marine Science

#OurOceanWealth - Professional services giant PwC has announced a new three-year headline sponsorship of the Our Ocean Wealth Summit, the fourth of which takes place in Galway next month.

The one-day summit on Friday 30 June at NUI Galway coincides with Ireland’s national maritime festival SeaFest 2017 in the City of the Tribes.

Speaking at the partnership announcement, PwC advisory partner Declan McDonald said: “Having worked with the Irish Marine Development Office for a number of years, we are delighted to formalise our partnership with them and assist the Marine Development Team and the broader Marine Institute to continue the great work they are doing in achieving the ambitions set out in Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth.

“Our seas are a vital national asset and very important to Ireland's future economic success, and the Our Ocean Wealth Summit provides a unique platform for the opportunities of our blue economy to be brought to the fore.”

McDonald added: “The opportunities for the blue economy do not come without challenges, both immediate in terms of the potential economic impact of Brexit on our ports and fisheries, but also in the longer term in terms of sustainable development and protection of our sensitive marine environment.

“We look forward to overcoming these challenges with Peter and the team in the Marine Institute bringing both local and global marine sector expertise from around the PwC network."

Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan said: “Ireland's marine sector has enormous potential for growth and our ambition is to be at the forefront globally as a leader in both traditional and emerging marine activities.

“PwC's support, as an internationally recognised leader in professional services, reaffirms this ambition and we look forward to working closely together to realise the potential of Ireland's marine economy.”

Renowned innovation expert Tom Kelley was confirmed in March to speak at the fourth Our Ocean Wealth Summit, which will also feature economist, writer and broadcaster David McWilliams; Miguel Marques, partner at PwC Portugal and Economist of the Sea; Terry Garcia, former vice president of National Geographic and CEO of Exploration Ventures; and many more.

Published in News Update

Businesses across Galway and the region are giving their support to SeaFest 2017, with festival activities extending from Galway Harbour to The Latin Quarter and Salthill.

SeaFest 2017 is Ireland's national maritime festival and will include a variety of marine-themed activities and attractions to celebrate the sea from 30 June to 2 July 2017.

Dr Peter Heffernan CEO of the Marine Institute said the involvement of businesses across Galway and the region is vital to the success of SeaFest 2017.

"The marine sector is of major value to the Irish economy and coastal communities and offers significant potential for growth. It is essential for businesses, organisations and communities connected with our ocean to be part of SeaFest," Dr Heffernan said.

For the first time, SeaFest will welcome the contribution of the Western Development Commission (WDC) to the 2017 event.

"The WDC are delighted with the opportunity to participate in SeaFest," said Ian Brannigan CEO of the WDC. "At SeaFest we are setting out to showcase businesses in the West of Ireland who take their inspiration from Ireland's ocean. Mr Brannigan said.

The Galway Chamber of Commerce will also support SeaFest 2017 by working with businesses across Galway, particularly The Latin Quarter Galway and Salthill, to develop a programme of activities.

"Salthill offers stunning views of Galway Bay, and is the ideal location to feature water sports and hold family-friendly activities along the shore," Dr Heffernan said. "SeaFest is also an opportunity to highlight the host of quality eateries in The Latin Quarter Galway, including some of the city's finest seafood restaurants serving locally sourced produce."

As well as the three-day festival, a range of industry events will be held as part of SeaFest 2017. National and international delegates will attend Our Ocean Wealth Summit on 30 June at NUI Galway. Digital Ocean: Ireland's Marine Engineering and Technology Conference and the Marine Industry Awards will take place on 29 June. A Marine Trade Show will also be held at NUI Galway on 29 and 30 June, to run in parallel with the Our Ocean Wealth Summit and Digital Ocean events.

SeaFest is co-ordinated by the Marine Institute, on behalf of the Marine Coordination Group.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#SeaFest - Organisers promise “a larger and more spectacular” SeaFest, as Ireland’s national maritime festival expands to include three days of activities and attractions celebrating the sea in Galway from 30 June to 2 July.

Festival chiefs met in Galway City Hall on Thursday 23 March to plan the SeaFest 2017 programme, intending to attract an even bigger number than the 60,000 who attended last summer.

Galway Harbour will be a hub of activity for three days, featuring even more activities for children, aquatic displays, vessel tours, as well as exhibitions and entertainment,” said Marine Institute chief executive Dr Heffernan.

“Ireland’s marine infrastructure and resources will be on show, and visitors will also have the opportunity to celebrate our maritime history and discover more about our oceans.

“SeaFest also raises public awareness of the value of our marine resources and the economic benefits our ocean provides to Galway and all of Ireland’s coastal communities.”

Donal Maguire, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) director of aquaculture development Services, said BIM is delighted to be taking part in SeaFest 2017, promising the return of last year’s popular Big Top on the Docks.

“Our Big Top will be a wealth of family friendly fun information on all things relating to Ireland’s fishing, fish farming and overall seafood sectors, from cookery demonstrations to exciting interactive games and puzzles for the kids,” he said.

Naval Service vessel LÉ Niamh was popular with crowds last year, and an even bigger display is planned for SeaFest 2017. World-famous tall ship The Phoenix will again return to Galway Harbour, and visitors will also enjoy tours of Marine Institute vessels the Celtic Explorer and Celtic Voyager.

SeaFest 2017 is supported by BIM, the Department of Defence, Galway City Council, Galway County Council, NUI Galway, Bord Bia Irish Food Board, Port of Galway, Western Development Commission, Galway Chamber, The Village Salthill and Latin Quarter Galway.

Dr Peter Heffernan said collaboration with the festival’s partners is key to SeaFest’s success.

As well as the public festivities, the fourth annual Our Ocean Wealth Summit will be held on 30 June at NUI Galway. National and international delegates will discuss how Ireland is transforming its marine sector through new thinking to achieve economic prosperity and to protect marine resources for the future.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#OurOceanWealth - Early bird registration is now open for the fourth annual Our Ocean Wealth Summit, which takes place on Friday 30 June at NUI Galway.

Global and national leaders from across the marine sector are set to convene and collaborate on innovating for our marine future, at this year’s summit, reflecting on innovation for a sustainable marine economy in a landscape of global turbulence and dynamic, disruptive technological, social and political change.

The summit is specifically targeted at national maritime stakeholders, from policy makers, industry representatives, and businesses to Government departments and agencies, NGOs, academics and researchers, and is increasingly attracting international attention.

In addition, the summit — an initiative of the Government's inter-departmental Marine Coordination Group — will review progress to date on Ireland's Integrated Marine Plan, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth.

A full agenda for this year's Our Ocean Wealth Summit will be available in the coming weeks. Outline sessions include:

Session A: Progress on Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth
The objective of this session is to provide a platform whereby tangible progress towards the goals of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, the national maritime plan for Ireland, can be announced.

Session B: The Drive for Innovation
This session is intended to highlight to the audience the global context in which efforts to transform Ireland's marine industry must take place.

Session C: Smarter and Better
This session will examine how Ireland's established economic sectors, such as the food sector, can turn their attention to the sea. The session is designed to highlight that Ireland has key sectors of strength and expertise operating on a global playing field, which if matched to the marine resource, can be drivers for growth.

Session D: The Coastal Economy
This session will move the focus of the summit from the global perspective to one more focused on the Irish economy, using marine tourism and coastal enterprise as a case study to pose the question "How can Ireland innovate in marine tourism and leisure?".

Session E: Our Rapidly Changing Oceans
Designed to bring the summit full circle, this session will reflect on the ways in which innovation is possible and the benefits it can bring. Participants will also consider the overwhelming and urgent imperative to innovate arising from our changing oceans.

A number of related industry, innovation and research events will also take place on Thursday 29 June in advance of the summit, which is an integral part of Ireland's national maritime festival, SeaFest, in Galway from 29 June to 2 July.

To secure your place at this year’s summit, register now at www.ouroceanwealth.ie/register. See the website for more information or follow @OurOceanWealth on Twitter.

Published in News Update

Galway based and globally renowned event management specialist Arcana has been appointed to stage SeaFest, Ireland's national maritime festival, this summer. Arcana, which has organised sporting, cultural and commemorative historical events across the globe, has been given the challenge of staging what is fast becoming Europe's most exciting maritime festival. The company has won the contract to mastermind the programme for this year's extended SeaFest activities in the city dockland / waterfront.

Speaking of their appointment Johnny Donnelly, Managing Director of Arcana said: "We are delighted to have been appointed event managers for Seafest in 2017. We are really excited to be working with the various stakeholders and partners, both locally and nationally, on staging Seafest this Summer. At the heart of what we are planning is to make people's heart race with wonder and joy and also to stop people in their thoughts momentarily to reflect on the wonders of the waters that surround and nourish all our lives. Lots of shimmers and great waves lie ahead. We can't wait!"

SeaFest returns to Galway from 30 June to 2 July 2017. Last year more than 60,000 visitors flocked to the festival to enjoy an action packed programme of free family-friendly events at Galway Docks and an international conference at NUIG. The festival featured, among other events, Galway Hookers challenging for The Galway Plate, tours of the tall ship The Phoenix, seafood cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs, interactive exhibitions and tours of the Marine Institute's research vessels.

SeaFest is an annual festival, celebrating all things maritime. An initiative of the inter-departmental Marine Coordination Group, SeaFest supports the goals of Harnessing Our Wealth – An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland in relation to engaging with the sea.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#SeaFest - Ireland’s national maritime festival will return to Galway Harbour for the next two years, according to the Galway Independent.

The news follows the success of this summer’s SeaFest, which brought more than 60,000 visitors to Galway to see such attractions as tall ship The Phoenix.

Cork Harbour hosted the inaugural SeaFest in 2014 in tandem with the Our Ocean Wealth Conference, which will also return to Galway in 2017 and 2018.

The Galway Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Maritime Festivals
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