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The Support Team

The Support Team is operating through five National Units which are based in France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and United the Kingdom.

The National Units are coordinated by a Brussels-based central management team which also runs this website dedicated to foster cooperation with the stakeholders.

The National Units, as shown below, were operational till December 2017.

If you wish to contact our central office in Brussels (KANTOR QWENTES SA, Rue du Marteau 81, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium), please send us an email at: or call us +32 2 235 20 50.

National Unit France

Gildas Borel

Gildas BOREL

Gildas Borel is the representative of the French National Unit.

He is a geographer with more than 30 years professional experience in maritime socio-economy. Gildas recently joined the Technopole Brest Iroise to work in the Support Team for the Atlantic Action Plan.

Jérémie Christian Bazi

Jérémie Christian Bazin

Jérémie Christian Bazin is the Support Team representative of the French National Unit.

Jérémie Christian Bazin, Project Manager at Association Technopôle Brest-Iroise, holds a Master’s in the Management of EU projects from the Université de Bretagne Occidentale and has over 5 years’ experience in cooperation projects (French Focal Point for the Atlantic Action Plan, Interreg IVB Atlantic Blue Tech on the development of Blue Biotech SME). Jérémie speaks French and English fluently.

National Unit Ireland

Elizabeth O’Reilly

Pauline Ní Fhlatharta

Pauline Ní Fhlatharta is the Support Team representative of the Irish National Unit.

Pauline holds a B Sc. (Marketing Mgmt.) from Trinity College, Ireland and a Diplôme Universitaire en Marketing Appliqué et Commerce International from Université Clermont Ferrand II, France. She has over 10 years’ experience in Marine Institute (MI), Ireland supporting key national programmes such as Marine Tourism & Leisure and INFOMAR (INtegrated Mapping FOr the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s MArine Resource). Pauline also works as a Research Officer at the MI providing guidance and support to Principal Investigators on all aspects of externally-funded project development.

Joanne Laffey

Joanne Laffey

Joanne Laffey is the representative of the Irish National Unit.

Joanne holds B.A (Public and Social Policy) from the National University of Ireland, Galway where she gained an in depth knowledge of public policy both in Ireland and the EU. Having previously worked for the Research Office in the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Joanne has recently joined the Marine Institute.

National Unit Portugal

Jorge Graca


Jorge Graca is the representative of the Portuguese National Unit.

He holds a MSc. in Innovation, Knowledge and Entrepreneurial Dynamics from the University of Aalborg (Denmark) and a BA in Economics from the University of Algarve (Portugal).

He is specialised in investment projects' management (from brokerage of funding opportunities to implementation) in a wide range of sectors and industries, from which marine-related ones such as tourism, shipbuilding, aquaculture, biotechnology, agro-food or fisheries.

Rodrigo Beja

Rodrigo Beja

Rodrigo Beja is the Support Team representative of the Portuguese National Unit.

Rodrigo holds a degree in Economics from the University of the Algarve, and a specialisation in Economics of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He has over 10 years of experience managing and delivering projects to support entrepreneurship and the creation of new businesses promoted by business associations and universities; as well as investment projects promoted by companies operating in various sectors.

National Unit Spain

Federico Cardona-Pons


Federico Cardona-Pons is the representative of the Spanish National Unit.

He holds a PhD in socioeconomics of recreational fisheries (IMEDEA). He has valuable experience in science dissemination and knowledge transfer.

He is currently working for the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) in Spain where promotes stakeholder participation in environmental decision-making processes, ecosystem governance frameworks, ecotourism and natural resource management.

Marta Pascual


Marta Pascual is the Support Team representative of the Spanish National Unit.

She holds a PhD in ecosystem-based marine spatial management, linking human activities, biodiversity valuation and ecosystem services in supporting European Directives implementation (AZTI). She has several years of professional experience in different lines of marine research applied to Marine Spatial Planning (MSP); Marine Ecosystem Services Mapping and Modelling; Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM); Decision support systems (DSS) and Ecosystem Services Valuation (ESV).

She is currently working for the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) in Spain where promotes marine governance and the implementation of marine European directives (MSP and MSFD). Her work has also succeeded in publications in international peer-reviewed journals.

National Unit UK

Ben Drakeford


Ben Drakeford is the representative of the UK National Unit.

He holds a PhD and an MSc in Fisheries Economics and Management from the University of Portsmouth, England.

He is currently a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Economics and Management of Aquatic Resources (CEMARE) University of Portsmouth. His experience lies in the broad field of marine resource economics and management, including aquaculture, offshore energy and marine aggregates. He has recently undertaken research projects throughout the EU, Asia and the USA receiving funding from the EU Commission, UK Research Councils, Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

Ben Drakeford

Pierre Failler

Pierre Failler is the Support Team representative of the UK National Unit.

He is a Reader in Economics at the University of Portsmouth.He is and has been the Designer and Co-ordinator of International Research and Development programs (EU-DG Research, EU-DG MARE, FAO, UNEP, etc.) in Fishery, Ocean and Coastal zone policy and governance, International and regional fish trade marine, coastal biodiversity and ecosystem services, climate change, poverty and food security (Africa, Europe, Pacific and Caribbean) (28 project coordination to date and partner in 10 others). He is the author or co-author of about 350 journal articles, book chapters, research reports, consultancy reports, media reports, conference and workshop papers, conference proceedings, etc. (see recent publication list below) and the organiser of a series of conferences on fisheries (trade, IUU and MCS, etc.) and ocean and coastal zone management. He is also scientific evaluator for many research councils in Europe, North and South America.