Maritime Experts Gather in Dublin for Global Conference

Maritime Experts Gather in Dublin for Global Conference

Maritime Experts Gather in Dublin for Global Conference

Over 280 maritime experts from Ireland, Europe, Asia and Canada gather in Dublin Castle on 15th and 16th November, for a 2-day conference organised by the Commissioners of Irish Lights.  The conference will address key safety and sustainability issues relating to offshore wind farms, autonomous vessels and meeting carbon neutrality targets.

The opening address will be given by Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton T.D. The Minister says the Commissioners of Irish Lights “have brought together a fantastic line up of Irish and international leaders in maritime for Navigating to 2050.  The conference programme goes to the heart of the challenges and the opportunities facing the Maritime sector and indeed the wider economy in the medium term.” 

“This is a unique gathering of leaders in the maritime and sustainability arenas – particularly important for Ireland in the fact that 90% of goods traded here transit through our commercial ports. Conscious of the role of the Commissioners of Irish Lights, I am happy to announce that last week I received Government approval to ratify the *IALA Convention.” 

Irish Lights CEO, Yvonne Shields O’Connor says the focus for ‘Navigating to 2050 – a safe and sustainable maritime future’  is on safe and sustainable navigation of the seas.  Speakers include leading figures from Irish, European and international maritime bodies and industries, such as the European Maritime Safety Agency and the International Chamber of Shipping.

Mrs Shields O’Connor says the last few years have illustrated Ireland’s reliance on marine supply chains. “Because such a high percentage of our goods arrive by sea - much higher than any of our trading partners - securing the future of these supply chains is this vital to our economy. This means addressing issues like safe navigation, moving to alternative fuels, and harnessing the best of new tech for the marine sector.”

“All of this requires careful planning and collaboration across the maritime and energy sectors. This conference is designed to bring together the key players and influencers who are leading and shaping a new maritime future for Ireland.”

If you want to attend Navigating to 2050 online or in person, just click here to Register now or go to www.irishlights.ieSee full programme and speakers here, and you can follow Irish Lights on LinkedIn and Twitter social media channels for regular updates on the conference. 




IALA is the international Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities. The SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) Convention requires compliance with IALA standards for Aids to Navigation and Irish Lights discharges this function around the island of Ireland. The IALA Convention provides for a transition of the organisation to full inter-governmental status and Ireland a member since 1957, by ratifying the Convention will continue to play a leading role in ensuring safe navigation.    

Highlights of ‘Navigating to 2050 – a safe and sustainable maritime future’

Session 1 – 9am on Tuesday 15th November: Keynote presenter on the opening session of the conference on Tuesday 15th November, is Anthony Gurnee, Founder and CEO of Ardmore Shipping - an Irish company operating a fleet of modern tankers worldwide. He will talk about transitioning to a profitable and decarbonised shipping future.  This session will also hear from   Maja Markovčić Kostelac, Executive Director of European Maritime Safety Agency, an organisation with considerable technical capacity and influence in member states. Chris Waddington, Technical Director, International Chamber of Shipping will speak about the short term measures that the industry must implement from 2023 onwards. Prof Alan Ahearne from University of Galway will give an insight into the implications of the EU ‘Fit for 55’ Package on the maritime sector and wider Irish economy. Caoimhín Ó Ciaruáin, Department of Transport, will talk about the governments’ Climate Action Plan and the implications for the maritime transport sector. Session 2 – 2.15pm on Tuesday 15th November:  The conference will look at new technology and digitalisation and how this will impact on safe navigation and offshore developments.  Ronan Boyle, Director of eNavigation and Maritime Services in Irish Lights will lead a discussion with Chief Vessel Operator of Ocean Infinity Ann Pletschke about the new fleet of autonomous vessels her company is building.Many challenges remain to be addressed and delegates will hear from Jacob Terling of DG Move about the latest thinking on a regulatory framework for autonomous vessels. Niels Peter Fredslund from the Danish Maritime Authority will provide an insight on future Aids to Navigation.   Session 3 – 9am on Wednesday 16th November: The opening session focuses on offshore wind development and the safety implications for all maritime users. Martina Hennessy from Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications will discuss the government’s approach to offshore wind development, post 2030.Carien Droppers, specialist shipping advisor from the Netherlands will talk about the policy approach that has been taken to safety issues in the North Sea and Kai Truempler, Head of Spatial Planning will provide insights from Germany.  Simon de Pietro from DP Energy will give a developer perspective on safety in offshore wind installations. Session 4 – 1pm on Wednesday 16th November: This session will focus on ports and regional infrastructure. It will explore what developments and investments must be made to facilitate offshore wind development. It will also address the transition of the maritime sector and wider economy to a sustainable future.  Delegates will hear from two major ports, Pat Keating of Shannon – Foynes and Mike Robinson of Belfast, about their role in supporting a carbon neutral economy by 2025. The conference will also hear from Prof Kurt Bodewig, Co-ordinator of the EU Motorways of the Sea programme about how the EU can support this transition.  Catherine Sheridan of EIH2 will talk about Green Hydrogen and John O’Sullivan of dCarbonX will talk about the need for large-scale sub-surface offshore hydrogen energy storage.