Portugal and Canada to fire up Blue Economy with transatlantic conference

 In Energy, Environment, News, Technology


Marine industry experts from Portugal and Canada are staging a special Blue Economy conference to spark transatlantic business growth.

WavEC Offshore Renewables is teaming up with the Embassy of Canada to Portugal to host ‘Advancing the Blue Economy through Intercontinental Collaboration’. It runs on 9-10 December.
The two-day online event includes a world-class roster of speakers. They will share knowledge on floating offshore wind, alongside latest advances in wave power, floating solar, hydrogen and offshore aquaculture.
Updates will also be provided on pioneering marine renewable projects including WindFloat Atlantic, X1 Wind, HiWave-5 and Waveroller. A separate section will be dedicated to leveraging innovative financial systems for blue economy growth (See notes to editors 1 for full programme).
Panellists include EDP, Ocean Winds, Marine Renewables Canada, Hydrogen Optimised, Natural Resources Canada, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, CorPower Ocean, X1Wind, AW-Energy, Teamwork Technology and Aquazor. Academics will join from the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy and the Atlantic Lab for Future Technologies. Meanwhile, Government officials will contribute from the Canadian Embassy and Portugal’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Ministry of the Sea.
Crucially, there is also an opportunity for delegates to gain direct access to headline speakers and other attendees through ‘Business 2 Business’ meetings.
WavEC President António Sarmento said: “We are thrilled to be staging this event with our Canadian colleagues where we can share our passion and global intelligence about the thriving blue economy. Both countries are responsible for large ocean areas and recognise the need for a better understanding of the physical and biological processes that occur in the ocean resulting from external drivers, which also influence climate change. As international partners, our nations are interested in the sustainable and responsible exploitation of ocean resources in several key areas including energy, food and materials. In turn, we are keen to enhance knowledge and understanding of the huge opportunities to develop technologies for better monitoring and observation of the ocean and its vast resources.
“In the years to come, oceans will inevitably play an increasingly important role supporting global economic growth. However, if we don’t develop the right technology now to ensure sustainable development, it will have a devastating impact on the marine environment. This Seminar is an opportunity to debate the challenges and opportunities associated with the development of new ocean technologies and also an opportunity for companies, research organisations and public administration to exchange views and get a better understanding of opportunities they can jointly address.”
Portugal’s commitment to clean energy is underpinned by the National Energy and Climate Plan 2030, which is aiming for 80pc of the nation’s total energy usage to be drawn from renewables by 2030. Meanwhile, renewable energy in Canada currently provides around 17pc of the nation’s primary energy supply, with the majority attributed to hydroelectricity.
Ambassador of Canada to Portugal Lisa Rice Madan said: “The Embassy of Canada to Portugal is delighted to be partnering with WavEC to deliver this world-class seminar. Building a sustainable ocean economy is both a global challenge and an opportunity, which is why it is important to have international panellists, including from Canadian organisations, share their expertise in the fields of marine renewable energy, ocean technologies, and fisheries and aquaculture.
“Canada is privileged to have an abundance of blue resources — oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers — and a unique environment for the development of marine renewable energy and the creation of a sustainable and prosperous Blue Economy. It is one of the world’s few ocean economies characterised by significant activity in all major ocean sectors, including fisheries and aquaculture; ocean renewable energy; marine transportation; defence and security; offshore oil and gas exploration; and tourism.
“The diverse Canadian Blue Economy includes Canadian and foreign multinationals, major technology and service suppliers, small-to-medium-sized ocean technology enterprises, and some of the world’s preeminent ocean and marine scientists, engineers, and R&D facilities. This breadth of activity means there is a large pool of potential partners for innovation, collaboration and investment, in particular with countries, such as Portugal, which value the vast potential of oceans while understanding the need to protect them.”

WavEC is a world-renowned ‘centre of excellence’ focusing on the development of marine renewable energy and offshore aquaculture through R&D, knowledge transfer and innovation. The non-profit organisation heavily supports the EU’s Horizon 2020 Programme and has delivered more than 65 R&D projects — seeing circa €12million of funding invested in the marine renewables sector. It has worked in collaboration with more than 250 partners in 25 countries.