This was the message from Creed following the opening of the annual wealth summit in Galway during the week.
He said this will happened as part of the ongoing implementation of Ireland’s integrated Marine Plan.
He addressed a group of delegates at the summit, some of which included national and international and industry leaders, researchers, policy makers, maritime entrepreneurs and all the major players in the sector.
Creed said the sector is very important to Ireland economy and pointed to the significant growth in the sector as an example, he then welcomed the report published and its findings which shows the extent of the growth in the sector.
He said, “Ireland’s marine sector is a very important part of our national economy and we have seen significant growth in the ‘blue economy’ over the past few years. I welcome the new report published today by the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit at NUI Galway which shows that the marine sector has grown significantly since the publication of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth in 2012 and in the period 2014 to 2016 alone we have seen a 23% increase in turnover, a 20% increase in gross value added (GVA) and crucially a 10% increase in employment. This transformation is being brought about by the commitment and hard work of various State agencies, Government Departments, relevant stakeholders and investors”
The Minister continued by adding his delight at being able to announce this publication of the report and says it sets out the recent progress in implementing the targets for the sector, “I am also delighted to announce the publication today of the annual Progress Report on Ireland’s Integrated Marine Plan - Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, for 2016. The Report sets out the considerable recent progress achieved in implementing the ambitious targets and actions outlined in the Plan and shows us that the Government’s commitment to its ongoing implementation is delivering real growth in the sector.”
The summit, in its fourth year, focussed on the theme of 'Rethinking Boundaries and Innovation for a Sustainable Marine Economy'.
A new Marine Research and Innovation Strategy for 2017 – 2021 was also published to coincide with the Summit.
The intention of the Strategy is that the outputs of new research and innovation are combined with existing knowledge to generate value within the marine economy.
The Strategy focuses on the broad topics identified in existing Government policies and strategies and provides a framework which recognises the complexity of research funding in the marine domain.
Minister Creed welcomed the implementation of the strategy saying, “Government has endorsed this Statement of Strategy as a framework to assist those government entities participating in the funding of marine related research and innovation and I look forward to receiving updates on its implementation”.
The Minister also took time to welcome the recent announcement by the European Commission that Cork City is set to host city for European Maritime Day 2020.
Minister Creed spoke of his happiness at Cork securing the event and highlighted the benefits it will bring to the area, ‘I am very pleased to again congratulate Cork City on being designated by the European Commission as the host City. European Maritime Day is the flagship event in the European Union’s maritime calendar, consisting of a two-day conference with over 1,000 stakeholders from across the European Union coming together to discuss the development of this sector. This will be the first time that Ireland has hosted this flagship event and I am confident that Cork will prove to be an excellent location’.
The ‘Our Ocean Wealth Summit’ and SeaFest are initiatives of the Inter-Departmental Marine Coordination Group, which is chaired by Minister Creed.
The Summit is part of a range of industry and innovation events taking place in Galway as part of SeaFest 2017 from 29 June -2 July. A wide range of public events are also taking place in Galway Harbour and Docks and the city over the weekend (1-2 July).