Focal Point Ireland 1st National Event: Introduction

1st National Event as part of the Our Ocean Wealth Conference
Implementing the Atlantic Action Plan – Opportunities for SMEs

National Maritime College of Ireland, Ringaskiddy Cork, 10th July 2015 at 1.45pm –3.45pm

Hosted by: Marine Institute (on behalf of the Marine Coordination Group), Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) and the Support Team for the Atlantic Action Plan

In July 2015, the 1st Irish National Event was organised by the Support Team for the Atlantic Action Plan as part of the “Our Ocean Wealth Conference” which took place in Cork, Ireland. The Support Team had an exhibition space allowing the five hundred marine stakeholders in Cork to meet the Irish Focal Point and learn more about the Atlantic Action Plan and the services provided by the Support Team. Amongst these visitors was the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Mr. Karmenu Vella, who showed great interest in the progress of project and the efforts of the Support Team and Focal Point Ireland in supporting the implementation of the Atlantic Action Plan.

Commissioner Karmenu Vella discussing the Atlantic Action Plan with Stephen Hynes (Director of the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) – NUI Galway) and Elizabeth O’Reilly Focal Point Ireland of the Support Team for the Atlantic Action Plan.

The workshop Implementing the Atlantic Action Plan – Opportunities for SMEswas also organised as part of the National Event. This event was looking to provide guidance and proactive support to SMEs working in the area and looking to get access to EU funding and other opportunities. The session was attended by Bernhard Friess Director of the Atlantic, Outermost Regions and Artic in the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. His presence along with Marcella Smyth, the Maritime Attaché in Brussels, allowed for an active and productive discussion with Irish SMEs who are working in the Atlantic area.

Marcella Smyth Maritime Attaché to Brussels welcomes workshop attendees and Bernhard Freiss from DG MARE at that 1st Irish National event in Cork.

A document summarising the outcomes from the workshop as well as presentations from the day are being circulated to workshop participants or can be requested directly from

From left to right: Stephen Hynes (Director of SEMRU), Natasha Evers (Lecturer in NUIG), Eamonn O’Connor (Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO)), Elizabeth O’Reilly (Focal Point Ireland), Commissioner Karmenu Vella (of Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) Bernhard Friess (Director in DG MARE) Alexandros Chloros (Director in Kantor Qwentes)

The 2nd National Event organised by Focal Point Ireland will be held in Galway, Ireland on the 24th of November 2015 and we look forward to welcoming all stakeholders of the Atlantic Area to attend.