ProtoAtlantic was promoted and advertised by project partners UCC and MaREI at SeaFest in Cork, which welcomed those interested in the exciting world of blue growth, marine renewables, marine robotics, and marine biotechnology. Cork celebrated SeaFest, Ireland’s largest maritime festival, at the Cork City Quays from June 7th to June 9th 2019, part of Cork Harbour Festival (from June 1st – June 9th 2019), a week-long celebration of Ireland’s unique maritime heritage, set in the second largest natural harbour in the world. 30,000 visitors enjoyed over 70 fantastic events in 15 beautiful towns and villages. ProtoAtlantic showed how marine sectors could positively contribute to healthier oceans and clean renewable energy.
The Cork Harbour Festival reached its climax at the Our Ocean Wealth Summit on June 9th and June 10th, 2019. John Kerry, former United States Secretary of State, gave the keynote speech on the importance of not taking ocean wealth for granted and taking necessary and urgent steps to ensure long-lasting ocean wealth. Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney identified the commonalities between Ireland and 32 Small Island Development States, with some of the key research areas including ocean plastics, resilience to climate change and marine governance. Minister Damien English announced the Marine Planning Policy Statement at City Hall which could mark the future of marine planning in Ireland. The eventful day came to a close at the Eirwind Project Networking Event onboard the Irish LE George Bernard Shaw. ProtoAtlantic reached out to Irish marine stakeholders sharing ProtoAtlantic’s unique approach to enabling marine start-ups to succeed through the ProtoAtlantic Accelerator Program, inclduing Phase II Mentorship of the programme.
The final event of Cork Harbour’s appreciation week took place on June 11th, with the Irish Marine Industry Showcase hosted by Enterprise Ireland. 25 companies, along with national stakeholders, from three specific sub-sectors of marine were present, and discussed Offshore Renewables, in particular offshore wind; smart ports and harbour/smart shipping, and; maritime security and surveillance.