Speaking at the launch of the Our Ocean Wealth Summit, this year under the theme ‘Investing in Marine Ireland’, Marine Institute chief executive Peter Heffernan said: “Ireland’s oceans represent enormous commercial opportunities and this summit will be relevant to organisations involved in offshore renewable energy, marine biotech, aquaculture and fisheries, shipping, marine mining and exploration as well as subsea and offshore technology including robotics, communications, sensors and data analytics.
“We are also mindful of the need to manage this incredible blue resource to ensure its viability and health into the future. This year’s summit represents an enormous opportunity to be part of a national and international event where marine leaders will be sharing insights, networking and engaging with delegates over the two days of the summit as part of the national maritime festival, SeaFest.”
This year’s Our Ocean Wealth Summit has attracted high level speakers from across the globe, with Blue Planet producer Orla Doherty and US astronaut and oceanographer Kathryn Sullivan set to join keynote speaker Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and current chief of the Climate Justice Foundation.
Others include Jose Santos, chairman of the Oceano Azul Foundation (Portugal); Claire Jolly, head of ocean economy at the OECD; and Jill Tully, investment manager with Equinor (Statoil).
Among the Irish leaders that will address the summit on investing in our blue economy and managing the challenges it faces are Marine Minister Michael Creed; PwC partner Yvonne Thompson; Julie Sinnamon of Enterprise Ireland; and Bord Iascaigh Mhara chief executive Jim O’Toole.
The 2018 Our Ocean Wealth Summit has a packed agenda that includes an in-depth discussion on Ireland’s seafood sector and the impact of Brexit; smart shipping, sea and airfreight and logistics for the fishing sector; an interactive session on marine renewables; and insights and thought leadership on climate change.
Marine research and development, maritime commerce, financial planning for the marine and aviation leasing will also be topics discussed at the summit this year.
Speaking at the 2018 launch, Declan McDonald, partner of sponsors PwC, said: “The central theme of investment for the 2018 summit demonstrates how the integrated marine plan for Ireland is moving into a new phase of commercial engagement beyond EU and Government funding.
“We see this theme developing globally with many investment managers and investors actively engaged in funding projects in line with the UN sustainable development goals. We see significant activity in the ocean economy to attract investors seeking returns beyond philanthropy.”
The summit will also include a Marine Ireland Trade Show, where over 60 companies and organisation in the sector will showcase their innovative marine products and services.
Now in its fifth year, the Our Ocean Wealth Summit is supported by a number of partners including PwC, IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Science Foundation Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, BIM and the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO).
The summit is an output of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, the Government’s integrated plan for Ireland's marine sector, which aims to double the value of the marine economy’s contribution to GDP by 2030.